Happy Kids Center Launches Health Camps in Partnership with Siddhi Memorial Foundation
Most of us in the Western World grew up having our eyes and ears checked in school each year. In order to play on a sports team, we would go to the doctor and have a full physical evaluation done to ensure our safety. When we fell down and hurt ourselves while playing said sport, we would go for an x-ray. When we had a persisting cough or earache our parents would take us to see our pediatrician. I personally saw that same pediatrician from my first doctors visit as an infant until I was far too old to still be visiting a pediatrician. If I ever have children they will likely see that same doctor.
As an American, I will be the first to acknowledge that our healthcare system is not perfect, but I had all of these luxuries none the less. To most of us, going to the doctor or having our eyes and ears checked would have been considered more of a chore than a luxury. But the reality is, too many children across the world do not have access to these very basic health evaluations. In fact, at Happy Kids Center most of the children had never seen a doctor outside of emergency situations, and even then the situation would have to be dire.
Once Happy Kids Center opened we began making sure children could see a doctor when they were sick or injured. While this was a massive step in the right direction, we were really only treating the symptoms, we weren’t getting to the root of their problems.
All of that changed this month. On Friday, May 3rd Happy Kids Center held its first Health Camp in partnership with Siddhi Memorial Women and Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital for Eye ENT and Rehabilitation Service (CHEERS.) The first health camp provided extensive physical evaluations to 28 children and was followed by a second Health Camp on Friday, May 10th for an additional 31 children.
Once at Siddhi Memorial Women and Children’s Hospital we broke the children up into small groups by family. They then visited four major stations where they were evaluated. Every child received personalized care from each doctor.
The first station was a full pediatric evaluation provided by two Senior Pediatric Doctors from Siddhi Memorial Foundation. Prior to the Health Camp, many children were terrified because as I mentioned before, they had never been to the hospital outside of dire emergencies making their associations with hospitals a less than positive one. The Siddhi Memorial doctors were exceptionally kind and made every child feel safe and comfortable. The doctors spoke with each child about their medical history, family medical histories, any bumps or bruises and kept them giggling the whole time!
The second station of the Health Camp was a vision check provided by senior doctors from Eye ENT and Rehabilitation Service (CHEERS.) Four children were prescribed glasses. These children will be receiving their new glasses which they will go and pick out this week!
The third station was an ears, nose and throat check provided by Senior Doctors from CHEERS. Eight children had their ears cleaned of dangerous wax build up. Two girls demonstrated symptoms of more serious conditions that could potentially lead to hearing loss. Happy Kids Center will be taking them for follow up appointments at CHEERS Hospital in the coming weeks. It is likely that one of these children will need surgery, which again will be provided by Happy Kids Center along with any additional care that is needed.
The final station was an evaluation with Siddhi Memorial’s Senior Nutritionist. As we had suspected, the majority of our Happy Kids were facing at least mild malnutrition. With this in mind, we have begun working with the hospital’s nutrition team to develop extensive nutrition programming and treatment. We will visit the hospital again with the parents of children with severe nutrition needs to develop specialized diets and vitamin regimens for these families. All children affected by malnutrition will revisit the hospital every three months to be evaluated.
Prior to the Health Camp, Happy Kids Center staff worked closely with the parents of our children to understand all significant medical history, along with any prenatal complications and family medical history. Based on all of this information it was determined that more than 60% of our Happy Kids had never received any immunizations. This is the case because until recently children in our community were born at home instead of in the hospital because they could not afford the cost of care.
At our next Health Camp, Siddhi Memorial Doctors will provide vaccinations for all of the children who had never received them. Siddhi Memorial Hospital will also provide our Happy Kids with medicine to kill any worms or parasites they may have picked up, and will provide this treatment every six months. We also look forward to working together with Siddhi Memorial Hospital to host a dental and orthodontic focused Health Camp in the coming months!
The success of this Health Camp is quite incredible. This new partnership with two of Nepal’s leading hospitals will change the way HKC’s Health Fund operates! We now have a much clearer understanding of the needs of the children in our community which will allow us to support them in new ways as we move forward.
By donating to the Happy Kids Center Health Programs you will support Health Camps like this one, the cost of care for all of our children and parents in the case of illness or injury, including the costs of new glasses or possible surgeries referenced in this blog past.