Project “Maathru” is a group of thirteen Rotaract clubs consisting of Achievers Lanka Business School, American National College, Colombo, Colombo North, Colombo Uptown, Faculty of Law University of Colombo, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Institute of Indigenous Medicine University of Colombo, National School of Business Management, NIBM, Saegis Campus, Singer Sri Lanka and Wellawatte that teamed together to start a maternal and child healthcare project in Malwaththa, Yatiyanthota.
The main goal of this project is to provide support and increase awareness in the village community about family planning, drug prevention, mental health during pregnancy, childhood vaccination, maternal healthcare, and personal hygiene and sanitation. Due to the prevailing situation, the team was forced to rely on telecommunications to obtain information. According to the medical officer of health, the midwife, and the village Grama Niladhari, the Malwaththa, Yatiyanthota Grama Niladhari Division has 460 families, with the majority of the inhabitants working as daily wage earners and farmers.
Many people living in the area are addicted to drugs, according to the records of Grama Niladhari. For any contingencies, the community has a maternity clinic and an ayurvedic medical facility. They must travel to the base hospital in Karawanella if there are any issues. Due to the distance, some expectant mothers in the area have to give birth at home. The maternity clinic, according to the midwife, has a power shortage, and it has some needs to be updated.
Here as we focus, our primary objectives are by holding a medical camp for pregnant mothers and children in the village and spreading awareness and knowledge about family planning, drug prevention practices, mental wellness during pregnancy, childhood vaccination, maternal healthcare, and personal hygiene and sanitation; we are able to meet basic needs in the maternal and child health sectors. Reduce the number of home deliveries in the village and the distance they must travel to reach the base hospital in the event of an emergency during pregnancy.
When we analyzed this issue, we were able to uncover the following major weakness such as lack of knowledge among the villagers, financial instability, distance of the maternity clinic, Lack of proper infrastructure in the maternity clinic, and another main reason is COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation and with a limited number of visitors to the village throughout this project, the team will incorporate safety standards and guidelines when conducting awareness programs; a maximum of 2 members from each club were allowed to join this program. Consent will be taken from local government officials and the relevant PHI. A team of doctors, comprising a pediatrician, gynecologist, nutritionist, psychologist, or medical interns, will conduct the medical camp in the future (depending on the situation). An electrician who lives close to the village will execute the renovation and maintenance of the electricity supply so that we can fulfill the clinic’s obligations.
Penned By – The District Regional Engagement Team in collaboration with the Media Unit and the District Editorial Team