Sodhana Charitable Trust
Sodhana has been working in the Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh for economic upliftment of rural and oppressed communities for the last 37+ years. IDS has had a long-term partnership with Sodhana for 10+ years in many aspects of health care wellness, such as reducing malnutrition among pre-school children, health care centers, and ensuring “last mile” coverage for health care needs. IDS funded a preventative health care network run by self-help groups and barefoot nurses.
Sodhana has been working in the Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh for economic upliftment of rural and oppressed communities for the last 37+ years. IDS has had long-term partnership with Sodhana for 10+ years in many aspects of health care wellness, such as reducing malnutrition among pre-school children, health care centers, and ensuring “last mile” coverage for health care needs, to name a few. With systemic health care issues, Sodhana conducted an extensive survey to understand health issues and socio-economic conditions of the people residing in these villages. They found that:
- Most of the women in these villages are anemic and are suffering from the consequences of being anemic.
- There is an increase in the incidence of hypertension in both men and women above 45 years old and a slight increase in the incidence of diabetes.
- Villagers working as agricultural laborers suffer from osteoarthritis.
- Most adults work irregular schedules and as a result, their meal times are varied and most of them suffer from acidity and indigestion.
- Most villagers are daily wage laborers and if they have to visit hospitals during the day, they would have to sacrifice their wages. Because of this, they are not visiting certified doctors, which puts their health in the hands of untrained Rural Medical Practitioners (RMP) who treat them symptomatically without addressing the root problem.
- Most men and women who suffer from chronic osteoarthritis are treated with powerful analgesics, steroids and opioids through oral, intravenous and intramuscular routes by local Rural Medical Practitioners (RMP) and exposed to the treatment side effects.
- Local Rural Medical Practitioners (RMP) are misguiding villagers and making them go through unnecessary diagnostic tests which are inflicting a lot of financial and psychological burden on patients and their family members and performing non-scientific treatments.
- Most of the time villagers lack proper medical guidance and spend a lot of money for their medical care.
To address the health problems of villagers and reduce their financial losses, Sodhana started a Health Clinic program that includes:
- Two “barefoot nurses” per village to treat basic health problems (fever, common cold, loose motions, pain, etc.) and also anemia and hypertension with a medical kit containing 15 standard medications.
- Once a month, doctors and barefoot nurses conduct free walk-in health clinics in each of the nine villages in the evening when most of the villagers return to their houses from work.
- The medical doctor, health coordinators, and barefoot nurses conduct follow-up appointments for villagers who are in need of secondary or tertiary care.
- In cases where the government provides health benefits to villagers, Sodhana staff ensures villagers are aware of and avail those benefits.
- Monthly meetings with all the individuals involved in the program to discuss various issues that have occurred and develop solutions.
- Conduct awareness meetings and campaigns about various health issues in the villages with Sodhana staff, Self-Help Group members and pre-school children.
Currently, Sodhana has worked with 1155 self-help group members, treated 176 patients and 39 pregnant women, and 115 individuals with folic acid and iron treatments.