The Dhemaji Boat Clinic, “SB Shahnaz” has a more popular name now- the “Doctor’s Boat” given to it by none other than the children of the saporis (river islands). They run along with the boat from the river bank, waving their hands in great anticipation as the boat passes by their area. This is a good reflection of how much the health team has managed to penetrate into these remote areas and making their presence felt and appreciated by these people.
Three UNICEF officials visited the boat clinic- AKHA at Dibrugarh during July 2008. They were Ms. Karen Hulshof, Representative, UNICEF, India, Dr. Rownak Khan, Program Officer, Immunization and Child Survival Unit, UNICEF, New York, and Ms. Sumaira S, Choudhury, Project Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation, UNICEF, India
A one day workshop on Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) was held on 22nd July in Dibrugarh. It was organized in collaboration with District Health Society, Dibrugarh. There were 24 participants in the workshop including ASHA( Accredited Social health Activists), AWW(Anganwadi Workers) and CWs( Community Workers) from the islands. Dr. B. J. Borah, Surveillance Medical Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO), was a special invitee and he delivered a talk on the forthcoming Intensified Pulse Polio Immunization Program (IPPIP)
Mr. Sanjoy Hazarika, Managing Trustee, C-NES and Project Director of the Boat Clinic Project visited Dhubri on 21-07-2008 for two days. He inspected the new C-NES vessel “SB Rustam” which has been built in Dhubri for serving the saporis here and met the Medical Officers of the Boat clinic and discussed the health camps conducted along with some new strategies for the same. The Deputy Commissioner, Dhubri also visited the SB Rustam.
Mr Hazarika met the villagers of Panch Peer char where the documentary film “Children of river, the xihus of Assam” was shown. It may be mentioned here that the inhabitants of this village have been successfully converted into conservationists. Earlier there was wide spread usage here of the blubber of the highly endangered river dolphins as fish bait but C-NES’s intervention and awareness campaigns amongst the locals have brought in a big change. They were successfully motivated to use alternative bait based on fish gut oil.
A health camp was also organized here for the first time in July 2008, the suggestion for which was given by Mr Hazarika. There was a good response to the camp.
Laboratory of Akha in operation