After a few weeks of ‘schooling’, a general concern grew among us about the basic health of our students as well as their parents and hence germinated the idea of a vaccination drive. We consulted our college doctor Dr. Sanjay Shah who referred medical officer Dr. Ashish Naik at SMC (Surat Municipal Corporation) local office who forwarded us to Dr. Arpita Patel. After some discussions, we fixed the day of vaccination as 6th April, 2007 (Friday), the venue being the College Dispensary inspite of the day being an official holiday (Good Friday).
An important step was to inform the parents and the children one day prior of the venue and the time and to convince them of the need of the vaccination. More importantly, we had to convince the labour contractors to excuse them for a couple of hours in the morning. About 35 to 40 children had turned up that day. Since some of them had already been vaccinated, 25 children had been vaccinated for BCG, Polio and Tetanus that day. The common fear of needles and injections which all of us experienced in our childhood days was quite prevalent among these children as well. Hence they had to be coaxed and cajoled with chocolates.
Additionally, Dr. Arpita Patel personally carried out Prenatal Check-up for 9 women. Also, she and the rest of the SMC staff showed a keen interest on having a vaccination camp on a regular monthly basis at the college campus.
We would like to extend our special thanks to the following people for their help and support which enabled the event to be a success:
- Dr. Sanjay Shah and the College Medical Staff
- Dr. Arpita Patel at Panas Healthcare Centre (concerned with SMC medical activities in Ichchanath, Piplod, Dumas area)
- Medical Officer Dr. Ashish Naik at SMC Local Office near Gokulam Dairy