On the 23rd June of 2019, a group of fifteen of us made our way to a rural site in Balewadi, Pune. Most of us were in their pre-final and final years of MBBS while a colleague of mine and I, were interns.
A physiotherapist was also present. As a comprehensive team, accompanied by members of the Robin Hood Army, in association with whom this camp was organised, we took on the task of checking fifty six children from a rural community in Balewadi.
The children were a bunch of beaming faces, in spite of their underprivileged status. For a period of three hours under the setting sun, we worked relentlessly to take histories, perform general examinations, local examinations and record anthropometrics of the children.
My co-intern and I then performed a thorough check up on each child and reported the same on a form provided by Switch India. The most common problems encountered in the children were malnutrition and tonsillitis.
Appropriate referrals were given and the parents were explained how to go to the referred centres. We administered the children tablets for deworming as well as prescribed multivitamins, iron tablets, cetrizine tablets, oral rehydration solution, paracetamol as per individual needs.
In addition, we provided individualised dietary counselling to the parents accompanying their children. Parenting advice was given to mothers whose children were entering the teenage group.
The Robin Hood Army volunteers also had a discussion about menstrual hygiene practices with girls in the pre-pubertal and pubertal age group. Vivek Laddhad, the camp head, did a great job in keeping things organised and making sure that everything was running smoothly.
Looking back, it feels amazing to have used my knowledge in an attempt to better the health of a community that genuinely needed it. It reminded me of what doctors stand for.
Having an entire community looking up to us for advice was truly overwhelming. The world needs kindness and working in unison with the amazing volunteers that were present that day made me feel like just like this, little by little, the world can be made into a better place.
Overall, the camp was a humbling experience and I hope Switch India and Robin Hood Army keep up with their noble work by organising many more such camps.