According to the World Health Organization. India is the second largest country in the world. With a population growth rate of 1.74% of accounts for 20% of births worldwide. With rapid growth comes a number of socio-physical problems as the country struggles to keep pace with its burgeoning population.
The numbers are overwhelming. The WHO reports there are over 1.5 million people affected by malaria every year and approximately 1.8 million new cases of tuberculosis are reported annually, Leprosy, HIV/AIDS and acute diarrheal disease are just a few of the other communicable disease affection a large portion of the Indian population.
It is not just communicable disease which pose a problem to India’s health status, but chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease account for a large portion of deaths as well, Disease and illness strike hardest at those who are the most vulnerable, especially children. Forty-seven percent of children in India are Undernourished and 74% anemic. Widespread malnutrition is believed to be a major factor in 50% of child deaths. These numbers are just part of reason why Indian Children make up 25% of child deaths worldwide.
With such startling statistics in mind, Kathryn Kelley Memorial society provides medical camps and home health visits in many communities throughout North India serving thousand of men women and children. Our work is focused on those with the greatest need and thus most of our medical camps are held in rural and remote areas where access to adequate health care is limited. Medical camps are an effective part of our strategy by which we serve a large number of people at once. By seeing anywhere form 100-600 people on one day we have an immediate impact on the community. Through generous donation and grants, KMS provides free medicines at our medical camps. With a full-time doctor on staff KMS is able to comprehensively address the physical needs of the people we serve.
In addition to camps, our medial team makes weekly visits in numerous communities, Checking on the health status of residents and giving free medical care and education. Health checkups in individual homes are an integral part of what we do and enable us to build relationship with the household over time as we oversee ongoing health issues. On the individual level more effective education takes place as people come to trust and accept us into the community. The longer we work in a community, the more we learn about their needs, social intellectual and spiritual as we as physical. A deeper relationship with community in one of our other areas of community development.
India has 4% of water resources in the world while supporting 16% of the population. Clean water is a foundation of good health. Kelley Memorial Society has tested water samples from over 100 villages. We have tested from springs, hand pumps, wells and drinking ponds. Much of the water has tested positive for fecal contamination and arsenic. Volunteers and supporters are working with us to find a solution to these problems. We have distributed bucket filters, UV light filters and provided community level education to communities wishing to prevent the health problems caused by unclean water. Kelley Memorial Society also helped build a community sized water tank in a local community to alleviate a water scarcity problem. We plan to continue this project and harvesting programs to fight scarcity problems.
Many people living in poverty lack the education needed to prevent basic illness. Our community health programs train and empower people at the local level in basic health and illness prevention. By using oral teaching methods, all members of the community are able to participate in the training. The focus is on helping the community participants learn and teach others how to avoid common illness. Our philosophy is that all people are able to learn and teach other ways to improve their community’s health.
In addition to providing ongoing community health training Kelley Memorial Society also provides 4-days intensive first responders training. Because many of the areas in which we work are rural, mountainous and off of main roads, much of the population is not within reach of emergency medical treatment. This training empowers members of the community with model and techniques needed to treat emergency health situation until the sick or injured is able to reach a proper medical facility.