2021 News

Empowering Women to Break the Cycle of Poverty with Healthcare

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

It’s a busy day when we come to visit Sunita. Her granddaughter is running around inside their makeshift house, and we can hear music and bike bells coming in from outside.

“I’m feeling weak, my health is not as good, and I worry I can’t be supported,” Sunita tells us. She holds up her arm, and motions at the needle being inserted into her wrist. “The doctors have said I need blood transfusions, to overcome the weakness.”

She is scared that she won’t be able to access the health care she needs. She worries about what her family would do without her. The grip of poverty is holding her back, and she needs help to break the cycle.

It’s difficult to travel from the slums of Prakash Tekadi to the nearest public hospital. Hospitals that are closer are private and, therefore, expensive. Most of the people living in Prakash Tekadi were born into poverty. There is a lack of awareness about proper hygiene. Rubbish is thrown out to the streets, and numbers of people do not wash their hands regularly or thoroughly enough. This causes many preventable, but serious health problems, including fevers, infections and diarrhoea – and also leaves the community vulnerable to COVID-19. 

Sunita is the head of her household, and is taking care of her five-year-old granddaughter while her daughter is working. Her young niece and nephew also live with them. Their family has experienced many tragic losses. 

“My brother lost his life, so his children also live with us,” she tells us. Her daughter’s husband also passed away, leaving her to raise their child alone. “He [daughter’s husband] was sick with some disease, maybe tuberculosis, but we don’t know.”

There is a critical need for better health care in Prakash Tekadi. As it is now, even when they are able to travel to the hospital, it takes people away from their family and their work. This vulnerability keeps them stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty.

“Whenever someone is sick, I am the one to take them to the hospital because I know some of the doctors,” Sunita says.

She fears that because she has this responsibility, that if she gets sick, there will be nobody to take proper care of her and so there will be nobody to take care of her family. 

That’s why the Prakash Tekadi Community Building Project is focusing on health care and awareness. This critical need can be met!

With the help of supporters like you, Prakash Tekadi can have monthly doctor’s visits. They will have access to “check-up camps”, where doctors will come and perform health examinations, and test for COVID-19 and other serious conditions such as HIV. 

The project also aims to provide health awareness workshops. These will be conducted by relevant professionals and cover a range of topics, including proper sanitation and hygiene practices and the use of hand sanitisers and masks.

Your support will help women like Sunita stay with their family and get the critical health care they need. When you give to the COCOA Mid-Year Appeal, you are helping to stop preventable disease spreading in a vulnerable community. This gives hope to kids like Sunita’s granddaughter, to have a future where they can break the cycle of poverty. Find out more or give today at www.gmp.org.au/empower

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