Continuing To Reach Out to Children
July 20, 2008
Michael Lear, Country Director
Now in its third full year of operation, Real Medicine's Clinic at Yayawatta Tsunami Village in Seenimodara remains the only free medical clinic in the Hambantota district providing services to the poorest communities. Recently, our staff extended it's reach to another sector of the community in support of families working hard to make ends meet who often don't have time or money to take preventive measures to assure the health of their children.
Aware of our success in Seenimodora, the faculty of the Annapitiya Janasuwaya Singithie Pre-School requested a one day clinic to provide check ups for 68 children ages 4-6. Our staff assessed the needs of the school and coordinated an on-site clinic that provided free check- ups, medication if needed and made referrals for some of the children go to the Tangalle base hospital for further care. Additionally, our team had plenty of King Coconuts and bananas on hand for the children to snack on to promote healthy, natural alternatives to sodas and processed sweets to which many have grown accustomed.
This is the second such offsite Real Medicine Clinic. Leveraging the school system is an ideal way to access so many children at one time without burdening the parents with transportation costs and taking time off from work. Our newly implemented Community Clinic Request/Proposal Protocol enabled us to pre-determine the staffing and clinic needs to make this a very cost effective way to reach so many children.
To further enhance the care provided in future off site clinics and to aid in our resource management, we've prepared a survey for teachers and parents to complete in advance these special clinics to determine what conditions if any are most prevalent.
As a note, Dr. Chamal was the recipient of the 2007 Science Popularization Award issued by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science Award for his book on Home Health Care. With the support of International Service Partners we'll be printing the first 150 copies to distribute to the families in the Yayawatta village. You can read comments from the School staff and some of the parents in the pdf available for download below.