The Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation supports health care to children and adults in the villages around Bodhgaya and the surrounding community through clinics and emergency medical care services. The ultimate goal of is to create self-supporting health education and care in the local regions. To that end, we focus strongly on health education for both children, women and men in the village communites.
Starting from the beginning, we offer courses on health pregnancy and safe birth practices. Training for women interested in helping others with birth helps to re-establish the venerable traditions of wise women attending and supporting the women of their community. While providing the basic tools for safe birth – especially the knowledge and ability to maintain sanitary conditions – is important, even more central is a firm grasp of the mechanisms of birth and the ways to ensure safe delivery for most mothers. This, of course, includes pre-natal care as well as the understanding the process of birth and the principles behind infection control. Breastfeeding and infant care skills are also taught, to ensure that a strong family starts right from the first day.
Nutrition is the next foundation for a healthy community. We address this issue through ensuring sufficient food (especially for the children of the villages) whenever possible, and through education about ways to maximize existing resources for optimal health. We support the works of other programs which are focused on agriculture and small, local scale food production – food for the community rather than as cash crops. As with the maternal health initiative, we focus on enabling the members of the community to learn and share their knowledge with one another.
Developing basic emergency medical care, and establishing a network of emergency Services addresses the health needs of the community that basic home well-care does not affect. First Aid, infection control, CPR and other timely interventions can both save lives and increase the likelihood of recovery from injuries. This can be as simple as knowing how to clean a wound to prevent sepsis (and having access to the necessary supplies to do so…often soap is all that is needed!); caring for sprains, recognizing breaks and how to care for them before medical help can be accessed; stopping bleeding, opening airways, performing resuscitation and other basic interventions that require more in the way of knowledge and skill than equipment or money.
It is important thatbasic medical services should come from the community, for the community. Establishing clinics and education programs is just the beginning; each project maintains the goal of self-sufficiency and natural replication throughout the region.
The Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation supports our Programs Director Dwariko Sundrani vision of making health care accessible to all human beings. Dwariko is the last living student of Ghandi and has lived in Bodhgaya for over 40 years. He has facilitated free eye surgeries for over 200,000 people. We continue this tradition of offering important medical intervention to thousands of children and adults every year.