Health promotion with a non-governmental organisation in Calcutta
Jayati Das-Munshi accompanies a team on its day to day duties
I spent my elective at the Indian Institute of Mother and Child, a small non-governmental organisation operating in the rural villages on the outskirts of Calcutta. Like many volunteers I had read about the project on the internet before making contact with the coordinators in the United Kingdom. With their encouragement, I set off to see how the newly established health promotion team was faring.
Monday clinics are busy; the queues fill the entire courtyard, and mothers with their babies pile into the consulting rooms. While doctors see patients, members of a busy health promotion team carry out antenatal checks, weigh babies as part of the malnutrition programme, distribute food and interview “sponsored mothers.”
Patients saw doctors before picking up free prescriptions or getting nursing treatment. We sat in these clinics and then helped nurses with their duties, but frequently “vitamin injection,” as the doctors would direct nursing staff to