This report was sent to the Council of the Grand Commandery by Leah Pattison in August 2015
Women in Need would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of our activities in Nagpur & Wardha – India. You have enabled us to improve the lives of so many women. Through the hospice, you have also helped those who were abandoned and dying, to be able to die with dignity.
Firstly, our ambulance continues to be an invaluable asset to our work. We continue to provide primary health care to impoverished areas across the city. The mobile clinic enables us to provide health checks and treatment to up to 200 women a week who may be suffering from malaria, TB, HIV, leprosy or any other ailment.
The advantage of the mobile clinic is that we can reach a population of people in areas where there is no local Primary Health Centre. We are also able to detect ailments at an early stage, thus saving lives.
The ambulance also transports women to and from clinics and hospitals throughout the city and even from Wardha to Nagpur, which is a one and a half hours drive.
The ambulance being used to disribute drinking water after the main supply was contaminated by floods.
Transporting Women for Cancer Screening
WIN has a collaborative initiative the Indian Cancer Society in screening women for the early signs of breast, cervical and oral cancer. The majority of cancer patients referred to the charity for financial assistance are terminally ill, therefore it’s crucial that the charity addresses this by encouraging women to be screened. This is not an easy task as many women are unwilling to undergo screening due to fear, ignorance and religious constraints. The charity’s social workers work hard in encouraging women to attend our organised screening sessions.
The ambulance is used to transport 20 women every week to a local hospital – Mure Memorial, where they are screened. The ambulance is again invaluable because the logistics of gathering and transporting the women would be otherwise very difficult. The ambulance makes two journeys with batches of 10 women per trip.
Eye Camp – Transporting Ophthalmologists from The Mahatma Eye Hospital to Local Shanty Towns
The ambulance is used for transporting medical teams to impoverished areas across the city. For example, eye specialists are taken to local community centres within these poor areas, where they check the local public for eye problems. WIN pays for treatment, reading spectacles and surgeries.
Mental Health Team
The ambulance continues to collect a mental health team from the city’s mental hospital. They conduct free consultations at WIN’s clinic.
Leprosy Health Awareness
WIN collaborates with many health workers operating in different sectors of the Health Department. Over 15 years, the charity has developed a network of volunteers who assist WIN in combating many areas of women’s health.
Leprosy paramedic,Mr Choudery often volunteers his time to travel with WIN’s team in our ambulance to various areas where poverty, illiteracy and superstition is rife.
Leprosy is making a comeback and yet Mr Choudery and his colleagues who are employed by the local authority, are not permitted to officially record the marked increase in positive leprosy cases. The reason for this is that the Indian government wishes to deny the resurgence of the disease, which the WHO had invested billions in eliminating (elimination means 1 case per 10, 000 population). Leprosy was eliminated (not eradicated) in India in 2005.
Above: Mr Choudery with WIN’s staff: Raj, Rama and Pooja spreading leprosy awarness.
Young family struggling with poverty and leprosy
The above photos are of a couple who are struggling to make ends meet. The man in the photo has leprosy and was detected through our awareness programs. His wife has to work to keep the family because her husband lost his job after his employer discovered he had the disease.
WIN supports the entire family financially and emotionally and continues to work towards dispelling the myths and prejudices surrounding leprosy.
Hospice & Long term Care Ward - Wardha
The hospice is used to care for terminally ill women who have been abandoned by their families in the grounds of Nagpur’s 2 government hospitals. They are refused admission due to a lack of available beds and so many die where they are left, alone and in pain.
WIN regulary discovers women who are very sick or dying and we are able to offer them a bed in our small hospice at Wardha.Many are elderly and infirm, or suffer from diseases such as cancer and HIV.
The below image is of an 11 yr old called Gouri whose parents died from AIDS. She lives with her grandmother and elder brother who aren’t infected with the virus. WIN supports Gouri whose life is fraught with infection and pain. The 2nd line anti retro virals she takes cause severe side effects. From time to time, Gouri needs to be hospitalised for long periods, which is impossible in government hospitals because of a shortage of beds. She is able to take respite care whenever she requiers at our facility in Wardha.
End of life care for leprosy patient Wimal Yadav after the charity supports her for 15 years
After her death at the charity’s hospice, Wimal’s body was prepared for cremation with the funeral rites of her choice. This is an important aspect of our duty of care to those who have passed in our hospice.
WIN’s Tuk Tuk – Auto-rickshaw
The charity’s auto rickshaw continues to serve the charity well. It provides transportation to those who are sick and require a doctor’s attention at a nearby clinic. It also enables us to bring local doctors to our hospice and shelter whenever a medical emergency arises.
In addition to this, the auto is used to transport some our women to a nearby vocational training centre where. Those who are recovering from mental illness, can learn new skills and regain confidence and having our own transport at Wardha provides easy access to local facilities.
Finally, the auto also is used for our staff when they shop locally for supplies. They would otherwise have to pay substantially for a privately hires auto or struggle on a local bus.