During our initial visit to the 3 villages we took the first step by evaluating the health situation and by getting an overview on the health issues in the different villages. We completed initial blood pressure and blood glucose screenings for over 350 villagers – mainly for the age group over 40. We brought awareness to people with high numbers and encouraged them to follow up with the Health Post or in certain cases to get a blood test and to see a doctor. We were able to evaluate how people responded to advice, we realized the lack of education on prevention & management of diseases, and the limited resources in the Health Posts. People living in very remote wards couldn’t come to our health camp due to the distance. (Multiple wards belong to one village) We still left one glucose meter, test strips and lancets with each Health Post, so that “suspects” for diabetes could return for another check (and most of them did as we are still in touch with the local Health Post employees). For many villagers it seems not affordable to get to the next city on a jeep for a real doctor visit, blood test or to get medicine.
Therefore we decided to continue this important project and we were able to achieve the following goals:
- Creating more awareness for diabetes and hypertension.
- Organizing a mobile laboratory and lab worker for blood work for existing diabetics and people with high readings at our first health camp.
- Getting a doctor for diabetes to the villages for diagnosis, medicine and advice.
- Bringing medication to the villages (donated by the Department of Health in Phidim)
- Educating existing and newly diagnosed patients (diet, exercise, lifestyle), and introducing specific yoga asanas through a certified yoga therapy teacher (also see our yoga project).
- Working with the Health Post employees on a proper supervision of patients in the future.
- Delivering more supplies of test strips and lancets to each Health Post.
- Visiting the isolated wards to offer free blood pressure and blood glucose tests, to educate and support.
- Discussion on long-term solution.
With the donations we payed diabetes supplies, educational materials, mobile lab equipment, salaries for doctor and lab workers.
To give everyone a better idea, we want to share a couple of numbers:
- We tested over 940 people for diabetes and hypertension since we started this project (including the 2 new villages).
- Our follow up quote from the last visit in Prangbung and Memeng was 44%.
All healthposts are very thankful about this project. They all commented that people are more aware about these diseases what could help in preventing long-term complications. Many suspects during the initial visit came back to the healthpost to get re-tested. Luckily the number of diabetics is relatively low. Hypertension seems to be a much bigger issue where more education is needed in the future.
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.