Currently, rural sanitation is in neglected state and only caters to 17.5% of the rural population. Low income communities which lack sanitation facilities face high risks of exposure to infection and disease. Specifically, children under the age of 3 are particularly susceptible to diarrheal disease while older children and adults are likely to be infected with intestinal worms. By partnering with Alternative for Rural Movement (ARM), we plan to fund the construction of eight latrines in efforts to lessen the practice of open defecation and thus reduce food and water contamination.
We also plan to further develop the Primary Health Center in the Pachimabad district, which has been functioning with inadequate medical equipment. With an influx in the delivery of premature babies, the increased need of infant warmers arose. An infant warmer measures a baby’s central and peripheral temperature and gives early warning of thermal instability or possible cold stress. More importantly, an infant warmer enables the care of ill newborns within a warm enclosed environment, similar to the mother’s womb, without exposure to changes in external temperatures or possible infection. Along with infant warmers, a surgical stand light is also needed in the delivery room for intense filtered white light, ideal for examinations and surgery.
Despite activities on reproductive and child health care, the maternal mortality rate in the Baliapal and Jaleswar districts is 72/1000 while the infant mortality rate is 397/100,000. This situation has prompted ARM to organize health awareness programs in several villages. However, there still exist problems concerning the motivation of mothers seeking out pre- and post-natal care. Thus, GlobeMed at USC will be conducting an on-site study to identify the possible barriers of accessing pre- and post-natal care as well as developing solutions to encourage mothers to seek out proper health care.