The District Commissioner of Jharkhand sent a letter to the director of our Rural Medical Services team giving permission for them to visit all the schools and colleges in the whole district. They are to conduct health camps and educate the children on how to live in a healthy society.  Many students will hear for the first time how important it is to practice proper handwashing techniques. The RMS team teaches using cartoons, videos, songs, skits and stories. The team will also provide well child checks for each student.

 

At one school a young girl named Preeti was found to have vision impairment in both eyes. Preeti is the youngest of five children in her family.  After checking the other siblings they found the elder sister and elder brother were fine, but the remaining sisters were also suffering with this. Dr. Haribabu, the lead doctor and director of RMS, shared the information of this case with Dr. George Mathew, the medical director of Shanti Bhavan Medical Center.  Dr. George is inviting the parents and children to visit the hospital and explore the options for appropriate treatment.

There are nearly 1.6 million children in India who are blind and many more who suffer from severe vision impairment.  More than 30% of these children who are blind at birth die before the age of 5.  Studies show that 30-35% of this is caused from refractive errors.  Other diseases that affect vision are myopia and hyperopia (nearsighted and farsightedness).  Many children are also born with astigmatism.  A large part of these can be corrected if caught early enough.

Early detection for these diseases/impairments can vastly improve the overall development of the child.  Treating these diseases can improve their vision which helps improve brain development.  This can significantly change the overall quality of life for these children. 

Our Rural Medical Services is dedicated to helping to improve the quality of life for villagers.  Many parents know that their children have defects or diseases, but don’t know the options available to them.  With these routine visits, our RMS team can help families like Preeti’s.  Preeti will receive free or very discounted treatment at Shanti Bhavan Medical Center so she can have a normal childhood. She can read and learn and have a different quality of life than if she remained untreated.  Her other sisters will also have that same advantage.  This is due to the generosity of all who help support our Rural Medical Services team and our hospital, SBMC. 

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