A Few Steps to Khushi

By Vijendra Banshiwal

I have harboured the dream of being a health professional for a long time now. My father always tells me that we have already taken a lot from the community, and now it is our turn to give back to the community.

I began my journey in health care as a Homoeopathic Physician, but over time I realized that by doing clinical practice I could cater to only a limited group of people. This realization took me to the Indian Institute of Health Management Research University to pursue Master in Health Management.

As a part of any curriculum, I was required to complete a summer internship for two months. In this window, I got the opportunity to work with Khushi Baby, a mHealth project to increase immunization in collaboration with Seva Mandir, Udaipur. My work was to give field training to General Nurse Midwives (GNMs) for how to use the KB app.

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I lead efforts in the Kherwara block, where the immunization camp sites were 35 kms away from head office on an average. Sometimes I had to walk for about 6-7 kms to reach the camp sites because of no available public transport.

I will never forget my trip to the Beda camp. The GNM’s bike got punctured and we had to drag it for 4 kms to get it repaired. As fate would have it, the tire punctured again, which meant dragging the bike for another 5-6 kms. On top of that, it was burning hot that day, the temperature sweltering over 40°C. It was only then that I realized the hardship GNMs have to go through each day, but also their incredible sense of purpose for these communities to persevere.

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I salute the GNMs for their effort. This incident had a deep impact on me so much so that I raised this topic in Seva Mandir’s monthly meeting. I suggested that the administration procure tubeless tires.I also realised that many a times the GNMs sustain injuries while traversing through hilly pathways but still continue their work.By means of KB app, the load of GNMs will reduce as log books will be done away with.   Finally, my time in Kherwara has shown me that life is not easy for people residing there. They have limited access to electricity, water supply, basic education and health services. Still these people live happily. That is something we can all learn from.

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