Chitrakoot Project Charity UK Activities
What we do is provide a variety of services to the people of Chitrakoot and the surrounding villages as there is a high incidence of dental disease, facial deformity and oral cancer. General health is poor, nutritional standards are marginal and health education is virtually non-existent.
The type of work we carry out varies with the abilities of the particular operator, and patients can be booked accordingly from a large waiting pool of pre-screened patients. Procedures range from standard dental work through to more major surgery including clefts, trauma (such as burns) and some tumour work.
Before and after cleft palate surgery:
Before and after corrective surgery for burns:
Watch the video to see the transformation of the life of a villager who suffered severe burns.
We have a state of the art Dental and Oral Surgery department in Chitrakoot and a readily accessible onsite hospital, where routine investigations and biopsies can be carried out. Patient xrays and photographic records are stored electronically. It was a basic tenet in setting up the service that standards should be of the very highest and this has been achieved. Patient cooperation including that of children is generally excellent because, for many, this is the first experience of painless treatment for relief of often acute pain. We do not typically know how many patients will arrive for treatment on any given day, but we aim to treat everyone if we can. The current record for a village clinic stands at 160 patients in one day, but around 90 is more normal.
We aim to reach each of the surrounding 500 villages at least once a year to help treat those who cannot travel to the main centre. We have our own four wheel drive transport and drivers and can take with us a mobile surgery set up with three sun-loungers as operating tables and a diesel generator to run equipment. Most problems can be dealt with on site but where it is too complicated, referral to Chitrakoot can be arranged. The two most carried out procedures are extraction of teeth and roots, and scaling. We take with us medicines when necessary but often the local ayurvedic solution is preferred by the patients.
Infant and maternal mortality rates in Uttar Pradesh are the worst in India and many of the incidents could be quickly and effectively managed to lower these rates. We have received funding from local donors to set up a child and maternity ward which is soon to open.
We have graduate couples (social workers) embedded in the villages as part of our programme to help promote health education. This includes audio-visual displays during clinics and written material left in the villages and schools for regular reinforcement of health messages. The education sessions usually cover basic hygiene practices and tips for minimising the risk of disease and maintaining good health.
We have previously provided assistance at a nearby girls school which educates and houses girls from ages 6 to 14. They would now like to expand their services to include older girls. Without this opportunity, these girls have no way to continue their education and will likely miss out on an opportunity to be self-reliant. We have started building an extension for the girls school, however we do need more funding to continue.