ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE AND COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTH CARE

Through service demonstration initiatives, PIDT has sought to meet critical needs in the villages while findings simple solutions to predominant health problems that people can manage themselves. Thus, our clinics emphasize natural and holistic methods that draw on existing resources and traditional knowledge systems, revitalized and built upon through further research and organized application. Where existing services are available we build linkages to make them more accessible to the people, whether this means persuading nearby village doctors to come administer immunizations or operating a mobile van cum ambulance service to the closest hospital. Finally, we emphasize preventive care and the development of basic infrastructure to help people avoid disease and malnutrition.

Medicinal Plant Cultivation
Knowledge of herbal remedies was a fading science in the villages, but one with potential to improve health care and maintain the environment. PIDT has collected over 180 medicinal plants that are grown in a nursery for propagation. Some of these plants are used as home remedies and many can be grown in large quantities. Medicines are ground and prepared at the PIDT Ayurvedic clinic, which is used primarily by women and children who had previously gone untreated because of the inadequacy and expense of the local health care infrastructure.

Ayurvedic Clinic
The Ayurvedic Clinic at PIDT Lokshala annually treats around 2,500 patients. The majority of the patients are women (55%), followed by children (25%) and men (20%). Patients are treated for serious conditions including dropsy, gout, paralysis, gastric problems, joint pain, piles, high and low blood pressure, anaemia, jaundice, chronic dysentery, pyorrhoea, urinary tract infection, leucorrhoea, reproductive problems and uterine pain, fever, cough and cold, asthma, scabies, worms, epilepsy, fistula, and intestinal disorders. The patients and visitors are made aware of the necessity of family planning, covering eatables, washing hands with soap or ash before taking meals and after using the toilet, and using a long ladle for drinking water. The Clinic is indispensable to the region, testified to by the fact that nearly 50% of patients come from over 15 and up to 100 kilometres away, in spite of poor public transport.

Sanitation and Water Purification
PIDT has organized and motivated village jal (water) and sanitation samities to disinfect village wells, construct low-cost toilets, repair hand-pumps and train women hand-pump mechanics, gather data on sanitation practices, and spread awareness.

Homeopathic Clinic
PIDT Lokshala also runs a Homeopathic Clinic that sees 1,000 to 1,500 patients a year of which approximately 70% are children, 18% are women, and 12% are men. Patients are treated for a host of health problems including skin conditions, digestive issues, fever, cough and cold, dysentery, menstrual irregularities, and toothache. The Clinic encourages preventive health care, advising patients on how to properly store food to avoid contamination, when to introduce different foods to small children, and how to maintain a balanced diet by growing vegetables in their own gardens.

Efficacy analysis of Ayurvedic treatment

In the above chart and graph we have compared the number of patients that have been coming to the dispensary with five ailments.

Ambulance Service
A Maruti van has been converted into an ambulance for taking serious cases to nearby hospitals. It is a godsend to the villagers of the area. The ambulance runs on a ‘no profit, no loss’ basis, with fuel costs covered by the patients’ relatives. During its first six months of operation, PIDT Lokshala provided ambulance service to 21 patients including 15 deliveries that might otherwise have resulted in maternal or infant mortality.

MDG #4. Reduce child mortality, MDG #5. Improve maternal health,
MDG #6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases Back