Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a virus that has become prevalent in Northern India causing fatal brain infection in children. Many children are incorrectly diagnosed, leading to preventable deaths. Healing Fields JE program works prevent the spread of JE, identify children with fevers, triage and refer to Emergency Treatment Centres. Through our Community Health Facilitator (CHF) program, Healing Fields identifies women from underprivileged and marginalized communities who have the potential to become health facilitators and trains them to become empowered “agents of change” for imparting health education in their community. Our existing CHFs are being trained through the JE program to identify cases and refer children through the 108 ambulance services to Emergency Treatment Centers for Acute Encephalitis symptoms. After children are treated and discharged, the CHF will follow up and continue to monitor the health of the child. They will also work with mothers to encourage vaccination of children to prevent the spread of JE.
CHF Poonam Devi
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination comes only once in a year at Mirzapur in very limited quantities. Many of the villagers are not even aware of the vaccination and why their children need to be vaccinated and the awareness created by the Health dept is limited.
Poonam Devi came to know of JE through discussions during CHF training programme and wanted to get her children as well as other children in her village immunized against JE. She enquired with ANM and was sent away. The ANM was out of stock due to low quantities and therefore unable to provide any vaccinations.
Poonam then approached PHC, informed them of her knowledge through the CHF training program and asked them to provide the necessary vaccinations. THe next day the PHC called the ANM and arranged vaccinations. Poonam was ultimately able to vaccinate her 3 children and another 6 children from her village.