“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope has everything”
A hot Sunday evening. A Bus depot in Juhu. And 7 enthusiastic doctors.
No tables. No chairs. No children. How was this camp going to be successful?
With help from the incredible volunteers from Robin Hood - Mumbai, we borrowed 2 stowed tables from a next door dhaba, 2 park benches from the bus depot, cleaned out the dust and sat to work. Watching us set up camp, a small of tribe of children made their way to us accompanied by their mothers. Time to work!
On one table we held a general health check up for the mothers, led by a gynaecology resident and on the other, a head to toe examination for the children by the remaining doctors.
7 children and 2 mothers were assessed. All vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies were checked for as well as allergic reactions and fungal infections. Immunisation updates were taken and complaints were recorded as well. The children were so excited to step on the weighing machine and see who’s the fattest of them all!
A thorough workup later we determined the status of malnutrition and undernutrition in the children.
References were made to the nearest hospital - Cooper Hospital. At the end of it all, each child was fed Albendazole. Crushed tables in a glass of water and they all gulped it down within seconds!
Post checkups, we spoke to our small band of patients and educated them on diet and nutrition, environmental cleanliness and personal hygiene and sanitation. It was highly motivating to see how they were so eager to know more.
It was a wonderful evening spent in service that put certain things in perspective for most of us. We learnt to ‘look’ with more than just our eyes. We learned how to ‘see’ the things we are privileged to have and how most of the people, although living in a city like Mumbai still face the burden of rural health due to lack of space and knowledge.
We are thankful to the Robinhood Army for looking after the logistics and also for ensuring that we were comfortable. We hope to collaborate with them on future events as well!