TCT’S comprehensive primary health program includes local treatment, education and training.
Over the years, the volunteers have emerged as catalysts. In the initial stage of every program embarked by TCT, these volunteers have played a crucial role in getting it off the ground. TCT-trained health workers managed 8 local health centers. Health Centers became points to coordinate the volunteers, offer extension service to villages, and to serve as a treatment center for minor and chronic ailments.
Soon it was clear that there was a need to expand the role of TCT’s primary healthcare program, as chronic diseases became more apparent. To treat patients locally, TCT decided to expand their healthcare program to include secondary treatment as well and built the Thirumalai Mission Hospital. For more information on the hospital you can click here.
Now, we have TCT trained ‘multi-purpose’ workers visit people in their homes on a regular basis to educate the families on health issues, identify those with problems, and render suitable advice. They work with Family Care Volunteers and Annam, the community based organization. Below are a list of primary health care programs they educate the community on:
The antenatal mothers are educated on nutrition, immunization, the need for calcium and iron supplements, and the importance of institutional delivery and family planning. They are weighed, their blood pressure checked and hemoglobin monitored. Mothers with high risks are referred to the Government Primary Health Centers and hospitals. The mothers are visited within seven days of birth to see if there are difficulties in breast-feeding and are counseled on diet and nutrition. Within the first two months, babies are also assessed on weight at birth and health status. Their immunization status on BCG, 1st dose of pentavalent and polio is ascertained.
Children are continuously monitored for growth. Their immunization data is obtained. Mothers are educated on nutrition, immunization, personal hygiene, and breast-feeding care during minor ailments. Children are tracked on the developmental milestones. Early detection of disability is a focus area and those identified are referred for the special care.
Health check-ups, which include eyes, ears, dental, nutrition, are administered in primary and middle schools in the project area. If needed, referrals are made to our hospital and local Primary Health Centers. Monthly health education is offered for the students, including topics on: personal hygiene, safety and first aid, care during diarrhea, head lice, scabies, care of eye and ear, nutrition and disability.
There are two programs in adolescent health. First, in high schools, sessions on alcoholism, disability, mental illness, suicide, violence, and pubertal changes are organized. As an additional intervention, adolescent boys and girls in local villages are educated in separate batches. Personal hygiene, nutrition, improving interpersonal relationships, anemia and alcoholism are covered in this training. For girls, additional focus is given for improving their hemoglobin and for boys the necessity of consuming healthy food.
In group education programs several topics are covered, some of them being: gynecological problems, osteoporosis, breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and obesity. The awareness generated in these programs have resulted in women voluntarily coming forward to participate in health screening camps.
Senior citizens are brought together at the cluster level and offered counseling support for their health and family problems. In these programs, we check their sugar and blood pressure levels and provide suitable advice on diet, exercise and medicines. They are also screened for cataract problems. Their family members are also included in counseling programs if necessary. They are referred to the Hospital for their ailments.