While we here in the US often identify the summer months with sunshine, warm weather, barbeques, and beach trips, our global neighbors in India welcome the abundance of rainfall known as the Monsoon Season. For the vast majority of families in Prashanthagiri, the season brings relief from high temperatures and a renewed sense of hope for the vitality of their crop production. In addition however, this season also brings about several ailments.
The wet, humid conditions and stagnant collection of rainwater in buckets, old tires, and cans serve as perfect breeding sites for mosquitos. Diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya fever are then transmitted by some species of mosquitos. Even with the rainy season coming to an end, community members have informed us of the ongoing prevalence of these conditions. Both illnesses are often marked by high fevers, headaches, nausea, skin rashes, and debilitating joint and muscle pains. Without adequate, accessible medical services or the money to pay for those services, the best option for our global neighbors is prevention.
Profugo Field Fellows and staff will focus our next Community Health Education Forum on prevention methods and home remedies for mosquito-borne illnesses and the common cold. Ideas will be exchanged regarding when it’s best to let an ailment run its course versus when medical care should be sought. Through a generous donation, we have also equipped our Center of Development with two thermometers. Families will be able to use them to monitor fevers and ensure that they seek treatment when it’s most needed. Our hope is that through providing access to tools and resources, constituents will be prepared and empowered to make educated health decisions that best utilize their time and money.