Health camp week- in short we’ve visited around 5 different camps, each in 5 different villages. Each village had different issues but in all of them it was clear that the women that were health workers and ANM (auxiliary nurse and midwife) really cared and enjoyed their jobs. There was one ANM in particular who had a sort of mini monologue during one of the camp meetings and really hit the point hard that ultimately the prominent health issues we face as women can’t really
be addressed until there is a sense of power amongst us (the idea of women’s empowerment). As sort of a background- the health camps usually will have a focus meeting at the end of the day that covers awareness of different health issues of the region. In addition, the camps also include general checkups and blood tests for anyone that arrives. The majority of the people who come to the health camps are women with their children from the nearby villages. The camps are held in schools in order to be easily accessible. What this meant for us interns was that there we would leave each health camp with a large amount of pictures taken by the kids of their fellow students (as will be seen below).
I can’t really talk about the health camp week without mentioning the health worker and coordinator for Chirag who we called Kuntidi. She is basically the pinnacle of a dedicated rural health worker. Not only did she lead us through each trek with speed and grace while wearing sandals while the rest of us in hiking gear bumbled along, but she did this with bleeding blisters from the trek prior. She knew nearly everyone we met, spoke the local language (Kumouni), and focused on
awareness during the health camps. Her dedication was clear in so much of what she did, and made it so clear that when it comes to health, sometimes it takes the right person to keep the rest of the program together.
Though each trek was of new surprises, the adventures kept coming and we had so many new experiences over the expense of that week and a half. Can’t wait to see what we have coming up!