Health Awareness Program (HAP) was initiated by Michael Dcosta, one of the Span trustees and Gulbarga coordinator, after working for many years with leprosy-affected community and noting a change in their health due to continuous health awareness and cleanliness drives and teachings given to them over the years. By helping and teaching the leprosy-affected, about general hygiene, prevented many visits (especially, their children) to the local doctor. Training a couple of people on how to detect initial symptoms of certain diseases helped them to identify and transport several patients to a clinic/hospital on time. This helped in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks. The success of this led the Span Trust trustees to start HAP. The programme aims to spread information on hygiene and teach about health awareness using audiovisuals in schools, colleges and community centres, in surrounding villages.
HAP's mission is to:
In the initial days, Michael and his team put tremendous effort to translate audiovisuals and presentations on various health topics to local languages. Presentations were prepared for various age groups for better understanding. In July 2019, HAP launched its first programme. We have now reached 800 students and 150 teachers with health awareness.
“We are very grateful to The Span Trust and its team who have helped us so much with educating the children about personal and general hygiene... because of the awareness teachers have learnt we now have been able to avoid mass infections among the children like chicken pox etc. We hope to continue this program next year as well for our 9th and 10th standard science students.”- Emmanuel, Principal, St. Mathew's School, Gulbarga
“I noticed my neighbor always coughing violently and being sick most of the time. His wife complained that he was not eating properly and I noticed that he had lost some weight. I remembered what I had learnt about TB at the Health awareness class. I advised aunty to take her husband to the TB centre in Gulbarga at the Civil Hospital instead of the spending money on the local doctor and his huge medicine bills. I also spoke to the ASHA worker who visits our area to encourage pay a visit to aunty’s house and encourage them. The ASHA worker took them to the hospital and a treatment for TB was started. The ASHA worker comes daily to check to see whether uncle is having his medicine given free by the hospital. It has been 3 weeks now and he is feeling much better. Awareness about diseases like this is very important and we can help many in our family and neighborhood if we know about it. Many thanks to the Span Trust team who has helped us. God bless them.”- Soumyashree, Science student, Gulbarga