Bhandara, Maharashtra: The Department of Health started the first need assessment visit after the long tedious work of COVID-19 when the cases subsided and the Government of India lifted the strict COVID-19 protocols and restrictions in India. This outreach visit aims to cover the central Tibetan settlements in Bhandara, Mainpat and Odisha from 14th to 24th February in order to identify the core problems and barriers preventing from accessing the overall services provided by the Department of Health, and to assess the needs of the existing and future programs of mental health, mother and child health, HIV and substance abuse, CCOCC, outdoor gym, health education and WASH program. The visit was led by Under Secretary Ms. Tsewang Yangtso and Office Assistants Ms. Sonam Dolma and Ms. Tenzin Tseyang.
The first day in Bhandara began with a short briefing on the purpose of the visit to the Settlement Officer Mr. Kalsang Sichoe. This was followed by the first activity in camp-1(238), targeting elder people to encourage physical movement in the form of chair aerobic under the DoHe’s Healthy lifestyle campaign (HLC). 35 people voluntarily showed interest and took part in the session. After the session, they had a discussion on health issues concerning old aged and non-communicable diseases. Diabetes and hypertension were found to be the most common among elder people. In the evening on the same day, a focus group discussion was held at the Nyingma monastery where 18 people took part in the discussion by sharing their understanding of a healthy lifestyle and how they keep track of their daily routine. One of the staff of the project section visited random households to assess the beneficiary of mental health, HIV/AIDs and Substance Abused and Disability program to improve the services provided by the Department of Health through Norgyeling Tibetan Primary Healthcare Centre (TPHC).
On the second day, out of 19, 12 old aged people took part in the chair aerobic exercise along with three helpers at an old aged home. The DoHe’s staff had a round visit in each room. The second-day visit was completed in Norgyeling Tibetan Healthcare Centre with one to one discussion among health workers on challenges and problems faced by the staff to ensure equitable health care to all.
On the last day, nurses were given refresher courses on skills to facilitate group health education and to create specific and targeted health messages to improve the health-seeking behaviours during group or individual counselling. The staff also visited beneficiaries under the MCH program to get their feedback on the services received under the program. The three-day visit at Bhandara was successfully concluded with the support and assistance of TSO and Executive Secretary of Norgyeling PHC with active participation from the community.