It is common knowledge that poor health adversely affects a child’s overall development and increases school absenteeism. Clearly, ongoing education of both parents and children on hygiene, nutrition and infectious disease prevention is sorely needed in rural areas.
In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline selected OvidiuRo (OvR) to represent Romania in a regional Roma Health Initiative. GSK’s 3-year €150,000 grant added an important component to the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță pilot program allowing FCG pilot program communities to address the health needs of impoverished children in rural areas where access to health care is limited.
GSK renewed the “Together for Better Health” grant for another three years in 2015. As a result, OvR continues to provide:
- medicine, vitamins, fruit & hygiene products,
- health education to parents and children, and
- diagnostic services through periodic medical caravans.
Each OvR field visit now includes an Education for Health component and a hygiene kit for the kindergartens.
As part of the GSK health project, OvidiuRo entered a collaboration with medical students from the “Together for Rural Health” in which doctors and final year medical students from Carol Davila University of Medicine visited isolated villages to offer free consultations and medical prescriptions.
Between 2013-2017 eleven medical caravans resulted in examinations for over 2500 people, with those in need receiving treatment or referrals to specialists. Over 600 medical students, residents and specialists have participated in the caravan, offering examinations in cardiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, dermatology and echography, and concluding that few children or adults in poor communities had ever had a routine medical check-ups before the Medical Caravan. The most prevalent problems identified from the caravans were respiratory infections, anemia, intestinal parasites, skin infections and pneumonia.
- Over 3,000 “hand washing” and “tooth brushing” posters were distributed to kindergartens during Read Aloud Caravans.
- 180 communities received hygiene kits containing hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial hand gel, and cleaning products).
- 26,000 children participated in health activities as part of OvidiuRo’s two-week summer educational module.
- 22,000 children, parents & teachers participated in the GSK’s PHASE project (“personal hygiene & sanitary education” activities).