Stories of Change

Bhushra

Age: 27 Years | Village: Rampur

My name is Bushra, and I am from a village named Rampur, which is around 25 kms away from Dehradun. It’s a huge village with no access to health care services. The nearest public hospital is in Sahaspur, which is around 5 kms away from my village. The majority of the inhabitants of this village are from lower middle class, with either no education background or just primary education. The problem faced by women here in my village is the access to quality and affordable health care.

Bella Health Care’s mobile health van service is a blessing for us. Beside, getting quality reproductive health services as well as primary care, we get free health education. There are free classes for adolescent girls in our village. Being an adolescent myself, I have attended these classes and have gained so much from them.

I can say that before attending this FARH class, I was ignorant about my health and biological function like menstruation and about hygiene practices which should be followed. I considered it as bad blood, or some kind of disease as this issue is never discussed openly in our community. My friends who attend this class were same like me. There is lack of information on the process of menstruation, vaginal discharge, puberty, psychological and physical changes that are related with it and requirements for managing hygienic practices.

In the FARH class, I have learned about menstrual cycle and care that need to be taken during menstruation. We have various myths in our society related to menstruation. My mother tells us not to take bath until day 3 of the period and she never informed us about cleanliness and about changing pads or cloth often to avoid any infection. Through this class, most of our village adolescent girls have learnt a lot.

I used to feel very weak during my first periods and would take to bed. ‘We consulted the doctor who said it calcium deficiency. Even after taking calcium tablets, there was no improvement. After attending the class, I got to know how anemia can be associated with irregular periods or heavy flow. So I told my mother to take me to the Bella Health camp one day and I was diagnosed with anemia, it was 7.5. From that day onwards, I have taken care of my diet, and have been taking IFA prescribed by Bella Health’s health care provider.

I have also learned about vaginal discharge. In the beginning I was hesitant to ask my queries, but the education classes are given in such a way, that we become comfortable and can share our knowledge or whatever we know (either wrong or right) in this class. This education class on female adolescent reproductive health has completely changed my view about my health now. I don’t ignore symptoms and have adopted healthy life style.

Rabiya

Age: 30 Years | Village: Listrabad

After coming to Bella Health for abnormal vaginal discharge in July, Rabiya received medication, contraception and condom usage counseling, as well as a pack of condoms. The following month, Rabiya returned to the Bella Health mobile clinic. Her abnormal discharge had cleared up but she was suffering from lower abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. After a consultation with the Bella Health physician, our doctor learned that Rabiya recently had an abortion. Unfortunately, there was a condom rupture and Rabiya had become pregnant. Both she and her husband decided an abortion was the best decision and Rabiya’s husband purchased abortion pills from the local medical store.

Rabiya suffered from continuous vaginal bleeding for a month after properly taking the abortion pills. The Bella Health doctor performed a pelvic (PV) examination and concluded that Rabiya had an incomplete abortion. Partial product (placenta, clots etc) remained in her uterus causing her abdominal pain and bleeding. Bella Health referred Rabiya to Chandan Diagnostic Hospital for an ultrasound (all patients referred by Bella Health receive services at a 50% discount) and Doiwala Hospital for a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) procedure. Rabiya is now symptom free and feeling well.

Bhajan Kaur

Age: 50 Years | Village: Lal Tappad

Bhajankour visited the Bella Health mobile clinic in June after finding no relief from private doctors. She complained of total body swelling and joint pain. A Bella Health physician checked her hemoglobin levels, finding them to be very low and diagnosed Bhajankour with severe anemia.Bella Health administered iron capsules, to treat the anemia, and Abendizol, an antibiotic for parasitic infections. Anemia is extremely common to patients with parasitic infections as parasites, such as hookworms, feed on hemoglobin, increasing the risk of anemia. Bhajankour was also provided pain relievers and dietary advice for her anemic condition.

A month later Bhajankour returned to the Bella Health mobile clinic and her hemoglobin levels had increased to an almost normal level. She also completed her Abendizol course and no longer has a parasitic infection.