“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
And I believe to be useful, honorable, compassionate and to have made a difference is itself a source of happiness. I experienced this when I had the Amazing opportunity to be part of a Paediatrics Camp for girl Children held in a school in Chennai.
Its only been a month since I’ve been part of Switch India and this was my first camp. It was an amazing initiative in the first place to have started Switch Activities in Chennai, as Chennai being a Heath capital has a lot of scope.
Being my first camp, I was immensely excited and looking forward to all the work we would be doing. I was also excited to interact with the girls there.
Us a team of 11 medical students, a mixture of 2nd year, Prefinal and Final year students from various medical colleges all over Chennai, reported at the venue, Chennai Middle School, Erran Street, Puraisawakkam at 9am on a pleasant Sunday morning of 8th September 2019.
The girls were having their breakfast, so we decided to take the time to set up everything for the camp. In the process, already the girls and us started mingling in friendly conversations. The volunteers from Robinhood Army whom we collaborated with for this camp, joined us and helped us set up everything.
We had separate stations, starting from registration, anthropometry where their height, weight, BMI would be measured and checked if in standards According to WHO, General examination, following by deworming with a dose of 400mg Albendazole and counseling.
We also helped cut their nails as it is one of basic hygiene practices often ignored by children. Each of us were assigned to respective stations by our camp head Shrithi. We were briefed about our responsibilities, and then moved on to our respective stations to start with camp.
Totally 44 girls, roughly in the age group of 7-14 years were examined. All of them were cooperative in going to every station and getting checked. Most of them were found to be undernourished, some with tonsillar hypertrophy, scabies, lice infestation.
Accordingly, adequate referrals were made. Meanwhile, during the process we enjoyed lovely conversation with them to make it more fun for them. The volunteers from Robinhood Army helped us throughout the day.
Finally, we successfully completed examining all the girls, deworming done and counseling done regarding basic hygiene, stressing on importance of menstrual hygiene and to not be afraid to talk about it.
We ended the day on a light note, I personally sang a song for the kids, and they cheered on as they listened to me. They were really happy to meet all of us and asked us to come again, which really made my day.
It was an amazing experience for all of us. Both as a Medical student to have been part of an initiative for a great cause and also to have known and talked to the girls from the school.
This is the just beginning for Switch India's Chennai Chapter, we hope to be part of more such activities for the ultimate cause of Switching to good health in India!