It is common knowledge that poor health adversely affects a child’s overall development and increases school absenteeism. Clearly, ongoing education of both parents and children on hygiene, nutrition and infectious disease prevention is sorely needed in rural areas.
In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline selected OvidiuRo to represent Romania in a regional Roma Health Initiative.
Starting 2012, three “Together for Better Health” grants, amounting € 400,000, helped OvidiuRo to provide:
- medicine, vitamins, fruit & hygiene products,
- health education to parents and children, and
- diagnostic services through periodic medical caravans.
The three grants (2012 – 2014, 2015 – 2017, and 2018 – 2019) allowed OvidiuRo to include the Education for Health component in each of projects developed along the years (including a hygiene kit for kindergartens).
As part of the GSK health project, OvidiuRo entered a collaboration with medical students from the “Together for Rural Health” in which doctors and final year medical students from Carol Davila University of Medicine visited isolated villages to offer free consultations and medical prescriptions.
Between 2013-2018 twelve medical caravans resulted in examinations for over 2600 people, with those in need receiving treatment or referrals to specialists. Over 600 medical students, residents and specialists have participated in the caravan, offering examinations in cardiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, dermatology and echography, and concluding that few children or adults in poor communities had ever had a routine medical check-ups before the Medical Caravan. The most prevalent problems identified from the caravans were respiratory infections, anemia, intestinal parasites, skin infections and pneumonia.
- Over 3,000 “hand washing” and “tooth brushing” posters were distributed to kindergartens during Read Aloud Caravans.
- 180 communities received hygiene kits containing hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial hand gel, and cleaning products).
- 26,000 children participated in health activities as part of OvidiuRo’s two-week summer educational module.
- 22,000 children, parents & teachers participated in the GSK’s PHASE project (“personal hygiene & sanitary education” activities).
Medical Caravans photo gallery: