Medicine and Public Health
About Our Committee
The members of the Medicine and Public Health Committee dedicate themselves to promoting good health and clinical care in Vadamanappakkam. Each of our projects aim to provide medical care and resources that are typically inaccessible to these people. We recognize that these rural areas struggle to find ways to maintain their health while meeting the demands of their lifestyle, and our committee seeks to provide opportunities that enable them to prioritize their health. Whether it’s through the clinic we built, the annual medical camps we host, or educational health fairs, all of our efforts seek to address and solve glaring public health issues in this community. We hope to continue expanding the reach of our work to develop more established and self-sustainable ways to promote and secure better health practices in Vadamanappakkam.
In 2019, volunteers led a medical camp primarily focused on providing specialized care, including Hb1AC blood tests, EKGs, basic vitals, and full urine analyses conducted by a local pediatrician and orthopedic physician. Most recently, volunteers led a medical camp on the India Trip this past winter where they provided HbA1c blood tests and a variety of specialists, including a dentist, ophthalmologist, and an ENT. During this camp, around 100 patients from the village attended, which primarily consisted of the elderly population. While the organization has conducted a multitude of camps over the years, the services provided are constantly modified and tailored to the needs of the village at that time. In the future India Trip scheduled for Winter 2022, Project Rishi is partnering with HOPE Foundation, an NGO that performs service projects all across India, to bring attention to women's health in Rural India and host a Women's Medical Camp. They plan to have screenings for various cancers, provide general health check-ups, and educational information about gynecological health to the women of the village.
UCLA’s Project RISHI chapter works with local villagers and organizations in Vadamanappakkam to identify the social, health, and economic disparities. Since the government clinic was very far from the village, we sought to increase the ease of access to healthcare. A large step towards helping and stabilizing the village was planning a clinic that could help the villagers since it would allow for less obstacles in obtaining medical treatment. A clinic was pushed for as it could also be used for health education classes, a delivery room, and a general facility to occur palliative care.
Medical Supplies Donation
In the fall of 2019, in preparation for India Trip in the winter, a few committee members reached out to a club called Medical Aid Initiative at UCLA. MAI collects and distributes unused, excess medical supplies from hospitals around the area in an attempt to aid global organizations and promote sustainable access to health care. After going through their database of available supplies and filling out a form requesting our desired medical supplies, our committee director went to the club’s warehouse to collect and package our supplies. After extensive sorting and packaging, RISHI members eventually took these supplies to Vadamanapakkam, where they were used to stock the local clinic. The Medicine and Public Health Committee intends to maintain a long term partnership with MAI to ensure that the clinic in the village is stocked with as many necessary supplies as possible.
Heart Health Panel
Last year, Project RISHI hosted a South Asian Mental Health Panel that was received well and was a great success. This year, the initiative put focus on Heart Health, a prevalent issue in South Asian communities that warrants greater awareness and information. A successful second panel was held on April 11, 2022, for close to 50 attendees and four panelists. Four speakers talked about heart health including Dr. Niyati Parekh, a public health specialist from NYU, Vandana Gujadhur, a Canadian dietician, the founders of BollyMoms, a non-profit that motivates Indian women to exercise through bollywood dance, and Dr. Natesa Pandian, a cardiologist from Hoag Newport Beach. Each speaker covered an aspect of cardiovascular health, ranging from proper diet measures to the importance of exercise and educate our attendees on these topics.