In a path-breaking initiative in the healthcare segment, Rotary clubs have taken up Project Positive Health (PPH): Stop NCD as their focal point at the health and awareness camps organised to mark the World Heart Day on Sep 29. This July the PPH campaign was launched with district governors being requested to take up this healthcare initiative in a big way with their clubs. “Earlier we were doing health and screening camps for chronic diseases. But now with the advent of PPH, we are doing it in a systematic manner starting from World Heart Day. From next year, clubs will have a structured process to conduct the Stop NCD camps and awareness talks,” said PDG Dr Ashok Singh, National Committee Member, PPH.
Here are few glimpses of the Stop NCD campaigns that were held across zones with the DGs and club presidents leading from the front to stamp their presence in this pan-India initiative. All the six clubs in Sambalpur, RID 3261, reached out independently to schools and institutions to test people for blood pressure (hypertension), blood sugar (diabetes) and weight-cum-height index (obesity). “Four clubs went to institutions (schools and a pharmacy college) with Rotarian doctors, testing teachers and other staff for hypertension and diabetes,” said Singh. Across Sambalpur, 300 people were screened. in a single day.
In RID 3030 covering Maharashtra, more than 50 per cent of the clubs carried out this activity, while in RIDs 3261 and 3262, 30–40 per cent clubs engaged with the programme.
Massive floods in Patna hampered organising the NCD camps in a big way, but six clubs organised health camps later, said DG Gopal Khemka, RID 3250. “Rotarians in Patna were busy with flood relief assistance, but in Jharkhand, 20 out of 40 clubs organised the NCD detection camps with good response from the community,” he said.
Street plays, lectures
All the six clubs in Jamshedpur organised four diagnostic camps at four different venues in the steel city. “We entertained the patients with nukkad natak (street plays) where Rotaractors and Interactors performed awareness skits; 300 people were screened,” said Sangeeta Jha, President, RC Jamshedpur, RID 3250. A big hoarding titled Keep Your Heart Healthy at a vantage point in the city advised people to have “one spoon less of salt, oil and sugar, and to move forward by four steps.” Dr Vijaya Bharat and Dr Mandar Shah gave awareness talks on prevention of NCD at the camps, and later on radio.
RID 3250 will be hosting a pan-district heart check-up camp for Rotarians in Patna shortly, said DG Khemka.
RC Srivilliputtur Green City, RID 3212, hosted a multi-zonal seminar inaugurated by PDG K Vijaya Kumar. Other clubs will follow suit. “A five-member team from PACR Rotary Blood Bank, Rajapalayam, conducted tests for BP, blood sugar, body weight and height on the delegates,” said S Shanmuganathan, Club President.
In Kanyakumari, 20 clubs staged a mega heart awareness rally. “Rotaractors, Interactors, and student volunteers made this rally a Rotary’s show of strength,” said Sreedevi Prince, President, RC Nagercoil Blossoms, RID 3212. More than 350 students took part in the rally.
The National Committee members had used their leadership skills and ingenuity to reach out to the public in their districts.
— RID Bharat Pandya
Mumbai Rotarians (RIDs 3141, 3142) organised 54 camps that screened around 4,000 people; of which around 900 persons were found with higher than accepted blood sugar and BP levels. In RID 3020, the clubs tested 10,380 people, of which 4,070 were found with hypertension, 2,340 high blood sugar and 3,010 with obesity.
Rotarians from RID 3070, 3080 and 3090 took a pledge to join the Ek Chammach Kam campaign as part of a larger PPH initiative in the districts.
Let’s sustain the campaign
Happy at the success of the “first pan-India drive” RID Bharat Pandya noted that the National Committee members had used their “leadership skills and ingenuity to reach out to the public in their districts. The enthusiasm and passion they have shown for this programme was amply evident,” he said.
But, he added, sustained efforts were required to modify the unhealthy lifestyles of people and make them adopt the ‘ek chamach kam and char kadam aage’ mantra. The next set of activities is planned for World Diabetes Day on Nov 14.
(With inputs from Dr Vijaya Bharat, RID 3250)