“ To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
While in the clinics and villages during implementation of the first study, Soni and Fahey had the opportunity to interact with many members of the local region and understand their perceptions of health and medical care. Through a presentation to CAM faculty and the CEO, they shared some striking direct quotes from villagers. The comments of the villagers illustrated apprehensions toward tertiary care facilities, such as CAM, yet a desperate desire for medical and social resources.
Three themes surfaced through discussions with members of each village visited:
- The sporadic distribution of pills by visiting medical providers to treat health conditions
- The inadequate role of liaison village health workers
- The misconception that all patients die when treated at large medical facilities
Soni and Fahey focused in on one particular village, Ravli, that presented the most pressing health concern in their opinion. While traversing the village to recruit study participants, they observed flooded streets and trash piles deliberately barricading a section of the village. When asked about these conditions, villagers expressed the concern that chikungunya would infect and kill everyone in the village if they did not physically isolate those already infected. Chikungunya is an infectious disease that is debilitating, but rarely deadly. Additionally, its mode of transmission is through a mosquito vector, not person-to-person. Despite widespread chikungunya and gross misinformation regarding this infectious disease, the residents of Ravli had not received any medical resources. In direct response to the presentation given by Soni and Fahey, the CAM administration conducted a health education and treatment camp in Ravli. Soni, Fahey, Dr. Nimbalkar, and other CAM physicians participated in this outreach effort.