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VTT Visits Bhuj 2016

Tuesday 1st March – it was a bright sunny day, started with lectures on Infection control, obstetric emergencies and raised blood pressure. These were followed by discussions, demonstration of videos and break out sessions with hands on training on skills equipment. Throughout the day the training was undertaken by the group of 11 master trainers.  Our team of VTT (Rotarian Upendra ,Dr Ishita and myself) ,played only supportive roles to the master trainers.

The multitasking VTT also improved the programme to suit the local training requirements and took photographs when needed. I managed to squeeze in number of meetings including telephone calls and video conferences with local staff members and the government in Ahmedabad, 250 miles away.  I also had the pleasure to participate in video conference with Dr Mrs Priti Adani along with her team, ably supported by D G.Rao, medical director of Adani hospital in Bhuj.  They are very interested in extending the Calmed programme in another part of India (Chattisgarh state)

Wednesday 2nd March – the day started with post course knowledge and skill assessment of trainees, followed by lectures by VTT members (the new topics of maternal death surveillance by Dr Ishita Mishra and new topics of WHO check list by Dr Vasavada).  Remainder of the day was taken up by feedback, question answer sessions by master trainers and trainees.  The day was rounded up with the closing ceremony in which speakers included myself, Dr Rao on behalf of Adani hospital and Dr Dipesh Dabhi, on behalf of Government, who expressed considerable satisfaction and praised the Calmed programme.  Eleven master trainers, 28 trainees and 10 nursing students were awarded appropriate certificates.

I conveyed good wishes from our District Governer Ray Dixon and Rotarians from District 1120.  I expressed thanks to large number of people for their support in successful running of the programmes.  These included Medical Director Dr Rao, VTT members Dr Vasavada and Dr Mishra, Mr Ganesh Khandekar and Mr Kishore from Adani foundation, PDG Mohan Shah, PDG Bharat Dholakia and PDG Harshad Udeshi.  Particular help throughout was given by Dr N.B. Dholakia from Government of Gujarat.

Thursday 3rd March – Today belonged to 25 ASHAS(Accredited  Social Health Activists) who are government employees and who are involved in supporting  pregnant women throughout pregnancy, labour and afterwards. Training was given by the VTT members, 2 Master trainers who volunteered (Dr Samira, Dr Solanki) and the Principal of the Nursing school Mr Gohil.  The ASHAS in particular were very enthusiastic and appreciative of the training programme.  They emphasised the helpful programme and resources available (video films, Simulators and pictorial Flip Charts in Gujarati given to them).  The day was rounded up with award of certificates to the ASHAS which they accepted with pride and joy.

In the evening we were entertained by Rotary clubs in Bhuj at a joint meeting of Rotary clubs.  Dr Upendra Vasavada made a presentation on Calmed programme which received unanimous support and acclaim as a top end VTT.  Afterwards we were invited to dinner at a local restaurant.

As we came to the end of our visit to Bhuj, I felt that this was the most successful return trip for the Calmed programme.  The success was contributed to by all concerned, including the Adani Foundation who provided excellent accommodation and refreshments including breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the trainees and trainers. Mentoring groups were established easily.  I have no doubt that Rotary could learn a thing or two from the examples set by our master trainers, trainees, ASHAS and supporters, all triggered by the VTT visit.  We look forward to our return trip to Bhuj in a years’ time.  Now I am getting ready to go the other end of India in the foothills of the Himalayas – Sikkim!

Himansu Basu, Bhuj, 5th March 2016