To achieve the objective of creating a healthier society through improved preventive measures, GMRVF organizes awareness programs on different health and hygiene related issues. Aiming at achieving behavioral change, GMRVF uses media which communities easily relate to like street plays, Kalajatha, puppet shows etc. to take various health issues to the community. Involving children and youth in awareness programs like rallies, debates etc. is another strategy. The children act as best messengers who take the message to their parents, family and other community members. Health weeks and health camps are also generally organized in villages for different age groups.
Information about the health awareness sessions and camps to be conducted is widely disseminated by the Foundation well in advance. These sessions and camps are organized in coordination with the community keeping their time and other constraints in mind. Through these activities, Foundation ensures maximum number of people benefit from such programs.
- General and specific health awareness camps with focus on diseases like Dengue and Chickengunya, eye, ear, dental problems, HIV/AIDS, H1N1 and basic health care have been organized at all Foundation locations. Awareness programs on Ante Natal and Post Natal Health Care, Reproductive Child Health etc., are also conducted.
- There has been regular involvement of District Health and Education Departments in the programmes. Foundation also collaborates with NGOs to conduct the health awareness programs in the villages.
- Child-to-child and child-to-community strategies have been adopted in some places to spread vital health messages. For example in Haliyal and Ramdurg, Children were trained on Tuberculosis with the help of Medical and Health Department and these children are encouraged to spread those messages through presentations, special games and plays devised for that purpose. Some youth are also trained as DOT providers in association with Health Department.
- Positive Deviance Hearth approach has been adopted in some places to address the issue of malnourishment in 0-5 year children. Under this approach, the positive deviants (families with well-nourished children) are identified to understand the unique behaviors that enable them to out-perform their neighbors and this wisdom is shared with the families with malnourished children through well designed nutrition Hearth education programs.
Support in organizing the Pulse Polio Immunization camp
The GMR Varalakshmi Foundation supported the Government of Nepal in organizing the Pulse Polio Immunization Camp in different villages of Upper Karnali Area. Foundation provided logistic support and mobilized the villagers of the area to take their eligible children to the camp. Around 530 children benefitted from the immunization camp. The GMRVF team actively participated in this entire program, starting from making arrangements to the delivery of immunization services to the children and played a significant role in the success of the program in this area.