Since I joined the current company, I have been humbled once too often.
First it was a group of blind singers[here
], then, today.
Our company gives out an award to people who have made a difference, every quarter.
This quarter it was to a Doctor couple. The husband couldn't make it, maybe he was busy treating Tribal patients. His wife could come. And She talked. We gave a standing ovation.
My eyes swelled.
Back home I grew up in a strict environment where I was given corporal punishments quite so often being wild, yet I wasn't allowed to cry, for a cry warranted me further whips. No pain ever made me cry as a child, but there are moments like today when my eyes do get a little wet. Maybe it is all the tears that I fought back. It made me physically tough, but give a sweet touching speech and I am :-( !!!The couple was none other than Dr Abhay and Dr Rani Bang
. I had the good fortune of listening to Dr Rani, who could come to our company's monthly meet and accept the award. Extremely qualified doctors, who 21 years back turned down offers from Geneva, Mumbai and othercities to work with a group of tribals who would eat grass-roots (no pun) for survival during the rainy seasons when they are cut off from civilisation by flooded canals. When they could have chosen luxury and riches, they chose to work with the down trodden and contributed not just to the immediate tribes they touched but to the world at large. Their studies have made many study materials for rural health care.
This couple, gold medalists in their MD, who went on to do their superspecialisation at the John Hopkins
, and came back to India looking for WHAT they could do. They wanted to make a difference, but didn't know where to look or start. This lady was reading a Birbal story to her boy child who also is a doctor today. The story of 10 fools, where birbal found the 10th fool searching for his lost diamond ring under a light on the other side of the yamuna when in fact he lost the ring on the other side. Since it was dark on the other side he was tryin to find it on the side which was lighted. Birbal found the 10th fool, and the Lady her Clue [she narrated thi story to us]. Alas! They have been busy looking elshwhere when they should have gone to darkness, the problem lie in the darker innards of India. She and her Husband went to Gadchiroli, a region in Maharastra inhabited by the gonds. And the couple started their journey, and started a trust called SEARCH [Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health] .
I am writing what I have registered on my mind listening to the speech, and have not googled anything yet. I wanted to give it a human touch. I will link only what she mentioned.]
The work this couple have carried out have been exemplary in the truest sense. Their work have set many trends in rural healthcare and are being followed by the WHO and other organisations including India Govt.
They found that Pneumonia
and not Diarrhoea
was the main cause of most child deaths, and since the nearest hospital was very far, most child deaths occur because basic medication or care could not be provided. The couple started training Village/tribal women on basic health care and teach them how to treat children with pneumonia. The results have been phenomenal, child mortality[which is the no. of death of child per 1000 child before they attend the age of 1 year] reduced from 130+ (I didn't note down the exact number) to about 80 [in a modle sample of 36 villages they have chosen for the research]. They also developed what they would term as Verbal Autopsy
which came to be recognised all over the world.
Again they found that most child deaths occur before they attend the age of 1 month. This was something she termed Neo-natal care. They also learnt/discoverd also that a women have many reproductive woes or problems between the time they fist have menstruation till they attend menopause which laid a foundation of the reproductive healthcare foundation. I can't recollect exactly what the terms were, but a line of study that was erstwhile called some other term was recoined after their research.
Now, since the tribal people were ignorant of neo-natal care and they rarely went to the hospital, there were many child deaths before they attend the age of 1 month. They started traing mid-wifes and other tribal women on neo-natal care and now they take care of the tribes' neo-natal needs.Since they started the training, child mortality at the model villages have gone down further to...... take a deep breath 30
which is the target the GOI have set to achive by 2010 for INDIA. The system is being followed all over the world.
They have also started a Hospital there in a way the tribals wanted because the Tribals never visited the Govt. Hospitals which was because
-the concrete look very alien to them and had no element of the nature
-every one is clothed in white which reminded them of the Death sinch the death are wraped in White.
-And the doctors act like god and they had only one God.
The Time magazine have honored the couple as Heroes of global Health.[here
Just saw that Sepiamutiny had mentioned the same on a post.[here
I salute you Dr Abhay and Dr Rani Bang.
And I love my company for recognising the same, and bringing them to the dias.Many more to read about the couple
. I suggest that you google for more.Update:
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