Ekam’s goal is to reinforce the existing public health system, identify the gaps and bridge them, resulting in Sustainable Well Being of the community, in a cost effective manner, with maximal use of Government resources and involvement of the community members themselves made accountable for improvement in their health, with the multi-pronged and grass-roots approach to problems, with the help of dedicated staff and volunteers.
1. Save A Child - Direct Medical Support to children to pay for lab tests, treatment cost- medications, hospitalization, etc. Variable cost, up to $500-1000. Ekam identifies children whose parents cannot afford treatment and connects them with Government insurance, or donors that can pay for expensive treatments. As Dr. Sai Lakshmi says, “I did not become a pediatrician to save lives only if they have money”. This is the starting point for Ekam’s work. Many children have received surgeries for heart conditions, treatment for cancer and life-saving ICU care through Ekam.
2. Medical camps in villages to diagnose children early and provide treatment e.g. Retinopathy of Prematurity camps screen all premature babies exposed to high oxygen concentrations that are at risk to develop this retinal condition leading to blindness. Early detection and timely treatment by Ekam has saved 33 children this year, of the 1500 children screened in villages.
3. Equipment support and staff training in primary health centers of remote villages to provide accessible medical care - Rural health centers are the first step to health access for villagers. Routine equipment such as blood pressure machines to identify pregnancy induced high blood pressure or sometimes fatal pre-eclampsia are not readily available. Ekam identifies local health needs and connects donors to support these needs. One LED Phototherapy machine will treat many children with newborn jaundice and save lives.
$120 funds 1 training of new Village Health Mentors, trained in Ekam activities who in turn train more volunteers about health issues and Ekam activities.
Equipment cost varies depending on the needs of the primary health center. Your adopted district officer can provide the actual needs and cost of the same.
4. Mother/ Child Health Education Programs – These training programs by Ekam staff improve awareness in pregnant women about the importance of having regular antenatal (pregnancy) checkups and postnatal care. This helps to identify medical conditions that lead to mother and child mortality, like malnutrition and anemia which result in preterm delivery and low birth weight babies requiring ICU care due to poorly developed lungs from prematurity.
Ekam educates women about the importance of newborn vaccinations, how to care for infants at home to prevent infections and connect them to any Government resources and schemes available to them.
$100 funds 2 camps. These are planned monthly in villages to reach those with minimal access to health care, in order to provide maximal impact.
5. Adolescent training for schoolgirls and boys- Education about sensitive issues such as reproductive and menstrual hygiene, to create strong women and prevent early marriage/ child birth, etc. Ekam’s curriculum includes awareness about pubertal changes, sanitary napkins, psychosocial issues, importance of nutrition, personal hygiene, clean water, lifestyle factors of disease, child marriage, sexual education, sexually trasmitted diseases, etc. that help these young people mature into healthy adults.
$25 for 1 training by Ekam staff is planned every month in districts.
6. Nutri-Gardens- Training mothers, school children and Anganwadi staff in villages to grow their own nutritious organic produce at home, a grassroots initiative to prevent malnutrition in pregnancy and children. Poor families cannot afford good nutrition to the entire family, so the mother sacrifices her food and her health. This causes malnutrition and anemia in pregnancy, which in turn causes babies to be born preterm and with poorly developed lungs, low birth weight, etc. causing more infections requiring hospitalization. Since the parents cannot afford expensive treatment, it results in a vicious cycle of disease and death. Nutri-Garden training to grow free, fresh, organic nutritious food in their own backyards helps the families to eat better and be healthy.
Poor kids are sent to school for the Govt. provided mid-day meal, which is usually very basic, with rice and dal. Ekam supplements this with healthy fresh vegetables by training the school staff and school children to grow their own produce and use at school or at the local Anganwadi daycare center for preschool children.
$120 per Nutri-Garden covers the cost of seeds, materials such as a protective fence, training and monitoring by Ekam staff for successful outcomes.
7. Livelihood support to women- Training underprivileged women to be independent and earn their own income. Dependent women lack self-esteem and suffer in villages due to lack of income. Providing them with training to earn a livelihood with different options such as small grocery shops, tiffin centers, flour-grinding shops, etc. make them stand on their feet.
Variable budget, up to $200-300 per project.