Bandipora district of Jammu & Kashmir is a potential flood zone and also face multiple development issues like high infant mortality, under-development, malnutrition, frequent disease outbreaks, consumption of contaminated water and poor sanitation like open defecation, lack of toilets, etc. To change this condition, CII and DFY has launched a community based risk reduction project in ten villages to develop sustainable health practices and mitigate or alter the nature of health risks during normal time and also during emergency. Doctors For You has been working in these ten villages since September 2014 floods through its various programs like medical camps, ASHA training and medicines and equipment distribution.
The aim of the project is to develop sustainable health practices in the proposed ten villages through adopting a multi-sector approach. The project works in coordination with five departments which are Panchayat, ICDS (Aanganwadis), Public Health Engineering, Education (Schools) and Health facilities (SCs & PHCs). Reduction of health risks is the most important aspect to develop sustainable health practices. Health risks here refer to any challenges for community at large that might aggravate due to the lack of awareness or any regular practices thus the planned project attempts to implement risk reduction techniques in the mentioned ten villages.
The project is broadly based on three major sections which are Health, Disaster risk reduction and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). The target area of this project is 7 PRIs of Bandipora district. These seven PRIs are Kehnusa, Aloosa Ghat, Ashtingoo Ghat, Kema, Mangnipora, Kulhama and Leharvalpora. Below are the villages under each of the PRI:
- Kehnusa PRI: 3 villages: Kehnusa, Zurimanz - Bangladesh, Khodamal - Kanibat
- Aloosa Ghat : Aloosa Paribal, Kanalbagh
- Astingoo Ghat: Astingoo Ghat
- Kema: Kema
- Mangnipora: Mangnipora
- Kulhama: Kulhama
- Laharvalpora: Laharvalpora
To develop sustainable health practices through health section of this project, the project started with a detailed baseline survey from health department as well as community members on child mortality, immunization drop out, ANC check-up, disease outbreaks, WASH issues and infrastructure problems etc and targets to work for the betterment of these numbers. The project targets Astingoo Ghat medical Zone which has one PHC, one NTPHC, one allopathy dispensary, 14 sub centers, 1 medical center and 5 Unani dispensary. The first step in this regard is to support all of these health centers to recover from flood loss. SDH, Bandipora will remain main working station and the key place to receive all referred cases, PHC Ashtingoo Ghat will be the working hospital and clinical services will be provided through NTPHC Zurimanz. There will also be weekly village visits and subcenter visits. Strengthening the immunization services is also one of the major objectives of this project.
For DRR, Mobilizing the members of the community, cooperative action plan preparation, instilling a sense of participation and collective efforts to reduce vulnerability to various hazards that a particular community faces at the local level, are important features of this project. For the same, 10 DRR units have been formed through volunteers from each of the selected village. These units will be coordinating various awareness programs in the targeted villages as well as school safety programs. These response units can also be the major assets to respond or support the community during any emergency or disaster.
Most of the health issues arises due to the lack of toilets, consumption of contaminated water, open defecation etc. To mitigate the root cause of all the health challenges, it is extremely important to eradicate the challenges of lack of toilets. Thus, one of the key outcomes of this project is to build 380 toilets for under privileged families in these 10 villages. For the same, WASH team of the organization has visited each of the houses in these villages, conducted baseline surveys and shortlisted the families. The list has been re-analyzed in open community members and first list of beneficiaries has been allocated.