Experience report from Nadja Pawelcyk.

Reaching the Health Care Centre in Balighai, India, I found it was bigger and busier than I had previously imagined. There were many parents with their children waiting to be seen by the doctor. I was especially interested in the Centre, as I come from a family of doctors and from the very beginning of my trip to India, it became clear to me that life there is very different.

In May 2001, Prajnana Mission and Hand in Hand formed this centre, and both organizations still manage it to this day. The Health Care Centre comprises a large waiting room, two examination rooms, a small apothecary and a 4-bed ward for emergency cases. It is open five days a week from 8am-12pm. One doctor and one pharmacist are employed on a regular basis while all other doctors and helpers work on a voluntary basis, with no pay.

It was a Monday after breakfast that I decided to pay the centre a visit. Only 15 minutes after the clinic opened, it was full with patients. From the very first minute I was impressed by how well the centre is organized and how efficient the system is. The patients first need to register and describe their symptoms, then they have to wait to be seen by the doctor, and after the appointment, they get all the necessary medication from the pharmacists who work in the same building. All staff members are incredibly kind and willing to answer every question the patients have. I was especially touched by how a little girl with her father was treated. It was clear that she hadn’t been feeling her best for a few days. She had a high fever and a very heavy cough. Her father was a single parent as her mother had passed away. The father was very grateful for this place. He told me that the doctor working for the centre had a very good reputation and knew how to help his patients.

They allowed me to stay in the room with them while the doctor was examining her. It was her first time to have a proper medical examination and she was a little scared, not knowing what to expect, but she was very brave and let the doctor do what he had to. It turned out that she had a serious air passage infection and needed very strong medication, but this never prevented the girl from smiling. When her father went to collect all the medication from the pharmacist, I stayed with the girl in one of the rooms. The girl didn’t speak English, but this didn’t hinder our communication. She played with my hair band and told me that she really liked it, so I gave it to her as a gift. She was so happy with it and decided to give me her hair clip in return, which I still have today. This experience made me appreciate my life so much more. My mother always took such good care of me, making sure that I had everything I needed, and my father, being a doctor, ensured that I had access to the best treat - ment possible. Furthermore it showed me how important it is to help others, and what a great job both Hand in Hand and Prajnana Misson are doing in order to help other less privileged people.

Memories from Balighai Health Care Centre

Experience report from Nadja Pawelcyk. Reaching the Health Care Centre in Balighai, India, I found it was bigger and busier than I had previously imagined. There were many parents with their...

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