HERD Foundation – Rural Healers

HERD Foundation Healthcare Delivery

Mothers and Children Teeming at HERD Foundation Local Health Camp

The forest areas of Central India continue facing shortage of medical practitioners. Unable to reach a doctor in emergency, patients often end up with deficient care or worse get treated by quacks. HERD Foundation continues to play an important role as Rural Healers. The organization is doing all it can to contribute to a healthier tribal population.

The World Health Organization informs that India has only 1 doctor for every 1,700 citizens. The mandatory ratio specified by WHO is 1:1,000. HERD Foundation attempts to bridge this gap, more so in rural parts. The organization works through a multi-faceted approach in its efforts to deploy doctors and medical staff to the last mile. We keep doctors, paramedics, and support staff in a state of perpetual motivation so as to keep working for improving rural health.

Despite the momentum in health services medical care delivery remains a challenge, at best.
Even simple preventive medical treatments that we advocate in the course of these health camps, they fail to meet their mark and we end up seeing all kinds of ailments. We therefore carry on with provision of quality health care services at their doorsteps. Our attempt is also to continue promoting healthcare awareness for behavior-change among the underprivileged.

It is in these trying circumstances that HERD Foundation braves out in all seasons with its mobile health care services delivery system. We find it to be the most practical mechanism in the given situation. However we have also set up a small Tribal Clinic that works three days a week to address problems of accessibility and availability of primary health care. Since it became operational over the past two years it is readily acknowledged as a dependable facility.

We have so far provided healthcare services to countless poor people living in the jungles and interior villages. Health for underprivileged is an earmarked area of intervention for HERD Foundation. This has resulted in attending to the health needs of poor women, malnourished children and general disabilities of the aged and infirm.

HERD Foundation works to increase access to quality and affordable healthcare. Offering an integrated healthcare model we have been able to provide continuum of care to some of the most vulnerable sections of our society. Numerous health camps provide specialized care for TB, mother and child health as well as diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments, bone and joint disorders, ophthalmic conditions and so on. We address referral requirements through consultations for further treatment with affiliated hospitals.

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Move Your Body

Nobody Wants To Be A Couch Potato

Nobody Wants To Be A Couch Potato

Chances are that you are reading this blog sitting in front of the computer or lying down with a tablet. Do you ever wonder how much time in the day you spent just simply sitting put. If you recall you probably sat your way to work, came up and sat on the office chair all day long and sat back to travel home, where you may have thrown yourself on a sofa or a bed to unwind.

Many of us are real couch potatoes without realizing it. This term was actually satirically created in the 1970s for comic characters depicting sedentary lifestyles by watching television all the time. As more and more of us turn into couch potatoes with modern day devices we carry around 24X7, we are actually living that very same inactive existence of turning in-tuning in-vegetating out!

With online-everything-facility we do banking, shopping and even socializing, all on the internet. The LED screen stops us from moving about and we do not know anymore the fun and benefits of regular errands. The most important invention of our times makes us its prisoner and this sitting disease goes on to create very bad lifestyles. We get up dim-eyed everyday to plonk back on beds at night ready for another deskbound day.

It will not be long before we begin to pay the price of sitting around all the time. Physical inactivity is already raising risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and of course obesity – the mother of all diseases. We seem to have completely forgotten that human beings are genetically engineered to move about. Lack of physical movement results in disastrous consequences for the human body.

Lack of exercise causes muscle atrophy bringing on shrinking and weakening of muscles. This apart from increasing chances of physical injury adds risks to the body’s immune defenses being reduced. It is clear staying put is an invitation to diseases. The sad part is that we are all well aware of the consequences of leading sedentary lifestyles but yet do not pay heed to getting active for achieving good health. An inactive routine and lack of physical activity contributes for multiple diseases.

It is a fact that sitting-put may cause premature death. The risk is decidedly higher for those of us who sit still more than 5 hours every day. This in itself is a known risk, free of the fact that one could be doing exercises or have good BMI. Further people who sit still more than 4 hours per day have a 40 percent higher risk than those that sit fewer than 4 hours. Lack of physical activity is then one of the leading causes of preventable death – worldwide.

Sitting-put May Cause Premature Death

Sitting-put May Cause Premature Death

Human Body Donation

Body Donation

Body Donation

For some of us making an offering of our own dead body for the good of society is an opportune way to give back to humanity. Nowadays many more people are choosing to donate their bodies to medical study and research. This is usually because donors or their family members have had the benefits of life saving medical technology or procedures through organ transplantation. However this may not be the only reason as many others simply opt for altruistic reasons for donating bodies.

Body donation has the person giving away the entire body after natural death for purposes of medical research and education. It is true the need for bodies for medical study is always there and research on them can continue to save lives. Body donation is a choice one exercises while alive, and one may or may not discuss even within the family. All you need do is contact concerned authorities and fill out the necessary paperwork to give your body to medical institutes.

It is usually medical colleges that accept dead human bodies for donation that are required for teaching students. It is a useful gesture that helps students understand human bodies and is also essential for reasons of advancing knowledge of medical sciences. Medical colleges make use of bodies to teach anatomy to medical students. They may cover the cost of cremation or burial once the cadaver serves its medical purpose or they may return the body back to the family for ritualistic interment.

Any person who wishes to donate a body has to make certain prior arrangements with local medical colleges and complete formalities before death. This usually involves filling out consent forms and completing requisite information therein. It is at this time that the person is also provided with the relevant details of processes and procedures that will take place after expiry.

Every country has its own rules and regulations with regard to accepting body donations. In United Kingdom body donation is governed under the Human Tissue Authority Act, 2004 that gives licenses for the purpose and inspects medical establishments accepting bodies. In the United States body donation is not regulated through licensure and inspection by the federal government. But the American States are subject to their own legislation of tissue donation under the donor’s legal right to choose body donation under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. In India after various amendments to Odisha Anatomy Act, some states have legalized voluntary body donation. People in India can donate their body after death by signing a pledge form along with two accompanying witness signatures.

Decisions regarding body donations are influenced by your sense of social awareness, cultural attitudes and your thinking about body donation. A number of donors are influenced by a sense of altruism and by their wish to assist in the advancement of medical knowledge as also to be useful after death. Also one may be driven by need to help future generations, be useful for medical field or simply to avoid funeral ceremonies.

Steps for Body Donation after death:

  • Contact medical facilities that accept whole body donation.
  • Fill out registration and consent forms to donate your body.
  • Keep a wallet card that notifies people of the intention to donate the body.
  • Complete transport arrangements with the facility of your choice.
  • Inform your doctor and immediate family members about the intention.
  • You may determine what you want for your body after it has been studied.
  • Make alternative arrangements. Some bodies not suitable for medical study in case of major operation done to them are returned to families.
  • Think about what you want done if your body is unable to donate itself to science.
  • You can cancel your decision any time by notifying the medical college in writing.
"Even in death do we serve life":

“Even in death do we serve life”:

Nosebleeds in Elderly are Serious

Nosebleeds are Serious

Nosebleeds are Serious

Nasal hemorrhage or nosebleeds are called epistaxis in medical terms. Positioned in the middle of the face a nose is full of blood vessels making people susceptible to nosebleeds. Although nosebleed may not be a cause for alarm in youngsters, but nosebleeds in the elderly can be life threatening. Ruptured blood vessels can cause the nose to bleed profusely.

Nosebleeds occur in old people taking anti-coagulants or blood-thinning medications like aspirin. If a patient is taking anti-coagulants, has high blood pressure or blood-clotting disorder then the bleeding will be harder to stop and may last up to twenty minutes. There are two types of nosebleeds – Anterior and Posterior.

Anterior nosebleeds originate from the lower nasal septum and occur mostly in children. The wall between the nostrils contain delicate blood vessels that receive blood from the carotid arteries, two principal arteries in the front of the neck that supply blood to the head and neck. A slight knock or bump causes these vessels to bleed that may be treated at home.

Posterior nosebleeds originate further back and higher up the nose where artery branches supply blood to the nose, which is why it is heavier. Posterior nosebleeds are very serious and require immediate medical attention. They are more common in the elderly. Causes of posterior nosebleeds are high blood pressure, calcium deficiency, cold dry climate, atherosclerosis or daily aspirin use. Such nosebleeds can be dangerous and the older the patient, the more serious is the nosebleed.

One has to be given immediate medical attention. A nosebleed can be really frightening both to the onlooker and to the one it occurs to. Most nosebleeds look much worse than they really are. Help the patient to sit down and lean slightly forward. Keeping the head above the heart slows the bleeding. Leaning forward stops the blood from going down the throat into the stomach.

The usual remedy in a hospital is to either pack the nose or cauterize the bleeding vessel. Cauterization uses a special solution or an electrical or heating device to burn the vessel to stop bleeding. The doctor numbs the nose before the procedure. Packing the nose with special gauze or inflatable latex balloon makes sure enough pressure is placed on the vessel to make it stop bleeding.

After-care is essential and the patient must avoid blowing nose after a nosebleed. Use a humidifier in cold dry climates. If one is prescribed anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) discuss concerns with physician. To prevent recurring nosebleeds avoid exerting or straining and avoid causes of occurrence.

Consult an Expert

Consult an Expert

Vision Impairment & Correctable Disabilities

Magnitude of The Problem

Magnitude of The Problem

HERD Foundation works periodically through affiliated medical institutes for correction of disabilities. In the past we have done far-reaching work on lip-cleft surgical repair interventions. We are now keen on working on vision impairment for teaching communities to maintain eye health. We look ahead to embrace the challenges in this connection that hopefully will serve in servicing people with vision disabilities.

We reinforce positive attitudes to look on persons with visual impairments to be included for these services. In the hope of creating user friendly approaches for people with visual impairments we have been ruminating to understand that very many visual disabilities are correctable conditions. This would mean we could promote an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

HERD Foundation visualizes doing this in three ways. We are working on partnerships that support medical care for vision disabilities and for prevention of conditions lead to impairments. We will improve access to healthcare, education and rehabilitation services for people in need of vision care. We want to be part of efforts that mainstream visual disability in all aspects and to empower persons with these disabilities.

It is on humanitarian grounds that HERD Foundation wishes to take an active role in the communities through their inclusion for such development projects, and to involve them in all such initiatives that will benefit them. Disabilities can thus be addressed by good Samaritans to benefit people facing barriers in finding solutions to their vision related health problems.

Our hope is to assist disadvantaged people suffering from impairments. It is really essential to help such people as they do not know that they can be treated and rediscover the full potential of their limitations. This means that HERD Foundation will offer support and play a role in breaking down prejudice towards people with disabilities.

Imagine a situation where a person with correctable visual impairment is further disabled by the attitudes of others around him. Such people can be readily treated rather than facing isolation, mistreatment and maybe even ridicule. HERD Foundation seeks to improve access to eye care, eye-care education and rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairments. We want to mainstream this disability in all aspects of empowerment for the afflicted persons.

Facts about Visual Impairment:

  • Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.
  • 121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
  • 90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness. (Statistics taken from World Health Organization website)
Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment

For a Better World – Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals or MDGs are time-bound, quantified targets the world had set for itself. The goals addressed extreme poverty, hunger, disease, lack of shelter and to promote gender equality, education and environmental sustainability. It was in 2000 that 189 nations pledged to free the world from such debilitating deprivations. The pledge was converted into 8 MDGs that were to be achieved by 2015.

In September 2010 the world connected again to recommit itself to accelerate these goals. Presently the UN agenda too rests on these MDGs and the target is to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015. The UN Millennium Campaign since 2002 supported and inspired people from around the world to take action for the MDGs.

While some countries made remarkable efforts in achieving health-related targets others have lagged behind. The countries making the least progress were actually affected by economic hardship or conflict. However targets are yet being adhered to and the 8 MDGs ranging from cutting extreme poverty by half, restricting HIV/AIDS and providing primary education are all target bound until 2015.

The blueprint for action agreeable to all countries received support from leading development institutions. These agencies spurred the process with their exceptional assistance so that targets could be achieved. The UN itself works with governments and allied partners to keep up the momentum. In fact health related targets were hand-held by World Health Organization to support efforts for achieving targets. WHO helped in developing health policies for governments to align priorities and track progress as also to disseminate data to plan spending patterns.

The Indian government too chalked out its 12th Five-Year Plan in conjunction with MDG targets to achieve faster and sustainable results. It brought about inclusive growth by incorporating the MDG working frame. This further ratified the potential for prioritized action on the MDG agenda. The ‘Millennium Development Goals (MDG) India Country Report-2014′ captures India’s progress that will be achieved by 2015. 2014, being the penultimate year for the efforts proved significant in realistically assessing progress.

All progress towards reaching these goals have seen mixed results. Despite unforeseen setbacks the reduction in poverty and increased access to health, education, technology and other essential services in many countries’ have been made into a reality. Of particular note is the work undertaken on AIDS that saw dramatic leveling off and decline. The world now looks ahead to the new set of goals established for 2016-2030.

End Poverty & Deprivation

End Poverty & Deprivation

Stay Involved with Life and Living

Connect with Nature

Connect with Nature

The best among us are subject to depression. There are times you feel drained of all hope, drive and energy. Life appears difficult in the face of the storm you may be facing.  But while severe neurosis will have to be taken care of by experts, if you are simply feeling low or find yourself in the grips of fleeting melancholia then you can do things on your own to improve the situation. Some circumstances will of course take their time in resolving themselves but for bouts of depression that affect us all from time to time, you can work on snapping out of it.

With due diligence and persistence you can even wean yourself out of stubborn depression. Start by taking baby steps to feel better. And in no time you will be able to get yourself out of the woods. You can best do this by making positive changes around yourself, everyday. The road to recovery needs to be action oriented. It is but this fact of taking action is what you must be focused on. Set yourself in the frame of mind to do all the things you chalk out or yourself.

You should start by making small changes and adjustments for your psyche to regain its balance. If you like to schedule action points start with daily walks. Nothing is more invigorating than brisk walking. Besides the exercise doing you a world of good, it becomes the reason to step out of the confines of the indoors that seem to tie you down. Stay focused on your plan and do it with regularity. You should miss the activity if you happen to miss out any day. Getting out and enjoying the outdoors restores your sense of well being.

Next you could begin to look for likeminded people to befriend. Cultivate supportive relationships that will make a huge difference to your state of mind. Enjoy small exchanges and interactions – having tea, going for a movie or conversations. These will help you to maintain perspective over situations as well as keep you from being isolated. It is essential not to be lonely as being alone definitely increases depressive states. It is therefore extremely important to enjoy social relationships and activities that will keep you engaged.

Turn to loyal friends or trusted family members who want your betterment. You should share with them whatever is affecting you and help you to face up to things as they are. Sometimes all you need are people who will just listen to what you have to say. Having people you trust in your life keeps you from withdrawing into yourself. Also good company keeps you away from being down in the dumps. In extreme cases people have joined support groups, where often it is far easier to talk to relative strangers.

It helps to talk to people about your feelings. So never miss an opportunity to have coffee, lunch, movies, concerts, parties with friends. Seek out loved ones.  Be thankful they check on you with such regularity. Stay in touch, make calls, write letters, go back to old friends and meet new people too. Extend your social circle and make no bones about enjoying it all. Keep challenging all negativity around you. Negativity puts a spin on things so make sure you enhance positivity around yourself.

An important aspect of self help is taking good care of yourself. Do all the things that keep you happy. Have a healthy lifestyle. It is half the battle won. It automatically puts you on a get well mode and you manage stress better.  Eat well, sleep well and live well. Get good sleep. Stick to a tidy schedule. Enjoy your favorite show on television. Enjoy music. Enjoy sunshine daily. Sunlight offers a very positive impact. Enjoy eating out on the patio. All these small things will help you to feel better, naturally! Last but not the least – Pray. Enjoy your conversations with God – the most powerful therapist of all times.

Sunlight - Powerful Antidote

Sunlight – Powerful Antidote