Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A village doctor with a big heart

In the remote villages of Ashte, medical care is hard to come by. From a simple check up to vital medications, access to healthcare is always a challenge. An integral feature of the GPM Love2Learn education network running in 20 villages in the Palghar district north of Mumbai is providing quality healthcare alongside innovative classes and good nutrition.

Dr. Pravin Rathod provides a mobile healthcare service as part "Love2Learn, Dr. Rathod performs health check ups and monitors the health of the children in 20 remote tribal villages in the district where he lives. He trains GPM teachers in how to best take care of the children with their various ailments when the children come to school and how the teachers can work with parents to give further medical care to their children when necessary.

Nikkita Worlikar, GPM coordinator, sat down with Dr. Rathod to better understand his role in the villages. to the villages - making healthcare accessible to remote tribal communities.
Dr. Rathod in a GPM 'Love2Learn' village school
Dr. Rathod is from a small town called Nanded in Marathwada and also works in a senior position in the local primary health care clinic. He joined the GPM team because he understands the importance of bringing health care

"I think what GPM does is for a great cause! It works with the tribal people,  covering most of the necessary areas of development" Dr Rathod explained to Nikkita,'How could I not be a part of a GPM?  I am doing my bit for the society."

At first the children from remote villages were wary of the doctor and approached him with trepidation, however, they were fast to warm up to his great bed-side manner and he has created a wonderful rapport with the children, "It means a lot to me that when I first met the children they were all shy at first , but then eventually after 2-3 meetings they become comfortable around me and the healthcare I was providing .  Now, they are excited to see me as I am happy to see them!"
Dr. Rathod at the GPM Pre-School in the village of Ashte

GPM rural development work is greatly enhanced by the dedication and passion that Dr Rathod has instilled into the healthcare provided within the Love2Learn education network. "Great strides have been made in the overall health of hundreds of children," explains Samantha Klazkin of GPM. "We have seen a decrease by 30% in school absenteeism due to illness and there is a reduction in prolonged children illnesses in general. Along with good nutrition, the medical services provided by Dr Rathod has had many positive effects on the children and the community at large." 
Health check ups are vital in remote village

Dr. Rathod with three GPM medical interns from the UK

Dr. Rathod at one of the village classes

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