The IUBAT Faculty of Nursing students, along with volunteers, successfully held a two day community outreach program from August 31-September 1, 2013 entitled, “Health Camp“. In collaboration with local groups, such as Youth Club (YC) and Citizens Committee (CC) in Parbatipur and Birampur, Dinajpur District, nursing students taught health-related skills and interacted with the groups and the communities. Some of the activities related to Community Health Nursing (CHN) concepts such as health promotion and health education. The outreach was conducted through partnership Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) – Bangladesh, and two of their international volunteers, Jim Ofonda and Neils van der Verge, and with Gram Bikash Kendro (GBK), a partner organisation of VSO based in Dinajpur. IUBAT is also an active partner organization of VSO.
VSO, originally founded in the United Kingdom, is an international organization that sends volunteer-professionals to 40 countries all over the world in a effort to fight global poverty and disadvantage by bringing people together to share skills, creativity and learning. Health Camp also allowed the nursing students to see the lack of access to quality health care in rural areas, especially for those who are marginalized and disadvantaged. Seeta Ghimire, a senior nursing student, was inspired by the outreach event and the interactions between the locals and the students. She says, “It is necessary to organize the health related activities in the community because it helps us to understand the different perceptions of the people about health, how do they take care of their health, what are the prevalent diseases, its causes and risk factors and what is the cheapest and easiest interventions that could be taken to make the living and health conditions of the people in the community secure.”
A variety of activities and informational sessions were held at Health Camp, and approximately 250 women, children and elderly patients were assessed by a nurse and a doctor. Nursing students had the opportunity to practice clinical skills, such as taking blood pressure readings, testing vision, determining body mass index, and testing blood sugar levels. Workshops focussing on health promotion, disease prevention, hygiene and food safety were held. The events were well received, and many of the citizens who participated in Health Camp were excited to share their newfound knowledge with their villages.
To view/download a Powerpoint presentation of a synopsis of Health Camp events and pictures, please click the link below, and for more photos from this event, please visit our Flickr site!