Wednesday, 25 December 2013

New Year Party and an opportunity to save the life of young ones...

 This year is ending soon and we are all looking forward to a healthy and happy 2014.
To bid good bye and to welcome the New Year, a Non Alcoholic Party for the families & children is being held at the TGL Golf Drive behind the ITC Grand Chola Hotel, Guindy on December 31st 2013 from 7.30 PM to midnight byVenconn.

Ekam has partnered with Venconn who has offered to give us  5% of their profits from this event and 10% of the funds raised by Ekam .
While purchasing the ticket if you also  want to save any child's life please enter the Charity Code DHCH14, EKAM will benefit from this purchase. For more information about the show please visit 

Right now we are in need of support for 3 children, whose details are mentioned in the links below.

2. Master Vishva             -
Kindly support this NON Alcoholic New Year event  by attending the party with your family and friends which will eventually be also a support to saving children through EKAM's activities.

A great entertainment is lined up;
Fusion Music by the Music by Rajesh Vaidya (Music Composer & Instrumentalist who has performed internationally)
Foot tapping from Mumbai based Dance troupe Directed by Hormuzd Khumbata (Performed internationally and famous for their performance at the Film Fare and SIIMA Awards)
Punjabi Dhol & Bhangra by Bhangra King P D JATT (The Only Bhangra group selected to dance with the legendary King of POP, Micheal Jackson)
Fashion Show by Sunil Menon (Top Fashion Show Director)
Sand Art by Raghavedra Hegde (Internationally famous and unique for creating images by hand using sand)
Fireworks using Pyrotechnics 
Veg & Non Veg Buffet Dinner, served by The Park Hotels, Chennai
The Master of Ceremony is the most popular Compere Divyadarshini (DD) of Vijay TV Fame
Co-comperes are Imman Annachi & Erode Mahesh
Loads of Prizes & Gifts for Families & Kids
Tickets to this entertainment program are available for online purchase at or by calling their hotline number 7660402888.

May the New year bring in perfect  health , lots of love and abundance in  life :-).

Monday, 9 December 2013

NGO to recruit, train nurses for PHCs across TN - News on Ekam, HINDU - 09/12/2013

NGO to recruit, train nurses for PHCs across TN

Ekam Foundation is partnering with the government; will provide training on a host of aspects

Ekam Foundation, a non-governmental organisation working for child and maternal healthcare, will soon recruit and train 741 nurses to be posted at primary health centres (PHC) functioning under the directorate of public health across the State.
The training will be on obstetrics, neonatal, paediatrics, adolescent care and emergency management.
In addition, Ekam will also train 192 government staff nurses in maternal and child healthcare, and also on the assessment of infrastructure and sanitation in PHCs, based on Unicef’s tools designed for accreditation.
“We outsourced the recruitment of nurses through Ekam Foundation to run our neonatal intensive care units at medical college hospitals and government hospitals. This is basically a public-private-partnership to provide better care for newborns,” an official of the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project said.
Recently, the NGO participated in RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health + Adolescent Health care), a workshop held in the city. Officials from the National Rural Health Mission, Unicef and the State health department were also present. “The recruitment of nurses is going on and will be completed by December 14,” said B. Sailakshmi, paediatrician and founder of Ekam.
At present, around 2,300 nurses recruited by Ekam are working across the State. This includes 640 at special newborn care units, 340 at newborn stabilisation units and 1,212 in non- communicable diseases intervention programmes at PHCs, additional PHCs and urban PHCs, said Manoj Chandra Hemandri, State programme officer, Ekam.
“The government staff nurses will be trained on various aspects including neonatal and paediatric advanced life support, paediatric emergency care as well as integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses,” he said.
Training on assessing infrastructure and sanitation gaps at hospitals will be provided based on RMNCH+A guidelines. Following this, these nurses will become master trainers and train other nurses on these aspects, Mr. Hemandri said.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Ekam in ToI, Mumbai: Lifeline for 117 kids as NGO backs ops

Lifeline for 117 kids as NGO backs ops

MUMBAI: On July 5, Purava was operated on at Bandra's Holy Family Hospital for a congenital heartdisease. As she prances around happily, her mother cannot thank Chennai-based NGO Ekam enough. "The NGO arranged Rs 1 lakh of the total Rs 1.2 lakh surgery cost," says her mother Neha Khamkar.Ekam representatives contacted her through Purava's anganwadi in Govandi. The operation was conducted within 15 days.

Purava is one of 117 beneficiaries of Ekam's pilot project in Chembur, Govandi and Kurla. The NGO, which has extended its services to Mumbai with this intervention, is aided by donation platform GiveIndia.

Philanthropist Ameeta Chatterjee worked with GiveIndia to help Ekam access its funds. She, along with contributions from other benefactors in Mumbai, financed the endeavour. "The project seeks to bridge the gap between the voluntary and corporate sectors," she said. Previously, beneficiaries-poor families-could get their children to private hospitals only as a last resort. "Even then, if recovery was not instant, they would move the child back to a government hospital to limit spending on a lost cause," said Ekam founder Dr Sailakshmi Balijepalli.

Apart from organizing operations for children, Ekam purchases medicines for pediatric patients. It also arranges for high-end equipment like incubators for infants operated on for heart complications. "Such socially beneficial efforts don't always get financial backing they need. Our aim is to help such effective non-profit organizations get funds," said GiveIndia's DeepaVardrajan, who is associated with the NGO's city entry.

The NGO has both private and government hospitals in its network of 100 hospitals in Tamil Nadu. It hopes to get funding from government schemes such as the 
proposed National Urban Health Mission for its interventions in both Tamil Nadu and Mumbai.

Monday, 8 July 2013

a game changer?

Pharma Fault Lines


Poorer sections can benefit from AYUSH's inclusion under private insurance coverage only if comes under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

The National Health Insurance Regulations recently had a significant new entry. A notification passed under the Official Gazette of Government of India, February 18, 2013, paved the way for the inclusion of AYUSH under insurance coverage.
This implies that treatment under AYUSH, which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, will be reimbursed under medical insurance. Naturally, this has been viewed as a game changer for traditional medicine and treatment methods, whose fortunes have dwindled with the onslaught of modern medicine, which produces quicker results.
It is likely that bringing in AYUSH under the insurance scheme will provide the much needed support base to traditional medicine and attract patients, especially those with chronic ailments, to go in for long term treatment; homoeopathy usually takes a much slower route to cure than allopathy. With almost 280 ayurvedic formulations to treat various diseases listed under the scheme, the market looks positive.
Having sensed its growing demands and now the benefits of insurance, major private companies have already tuned in, introducing ayurveda with special covers. They expect profits to soar and the industry to grow substantially. So far, so good.
But does this ensure a complete inclusion of affected populations? Actually, far from it. The private players are unlikely to attract the poorer sections of the population, who cannot afford even basic treatment, nor show much interest in serving them. Ayurveda, though growing, continues to be the alternate preference of the elite — thus leaving the government with the moral duty of extending the benefits of cover treatment of ayurveda to the poor.
However, despite introducing the scheme, the government itself is yet to adopt AYUSH into its health insurance policies. By not extending AYUSH into the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), which has 28 million beneficiaries, the poor will continue to be deprived of quality ayurvedic treatment at nominal rates, opines Professor Anand Chaudhary of the Banaras Hindu University’s (BHU) Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences. He recently wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to include ayurveda in Below Poverty Line schemes in the State and provide reimbursement of treatment of ayurveda to State employees.
In Uttar Pradesh itself, over 60 lakh persons are enrolled under the RSBY. A majority of them cannot afford AYUSH even though it is cheaper than allopathic treatment.
According to Professor Chaudhary, by limiting AYUSH to private players, the State is depriving the poor of ayurveda’s benefits. Moreover, not much has been done to bring the new regulations into the domain of the middle class. “Many diseases are best cured by AYUSH. The poor generally depend on traditional methods of treatment. The escalating cost of allopathic drugs is still a challenge to provide quality patient care with minimal resources. When the National Rural Health Mission is serving the public successfully with allopathy and AYUSH, then why not under the RSBY as well?” he wonders.
An expert in quality control and standardisation of ayurvedic medicines, Professor Chaudhary says that the pharmacoeconmics of ayurvedic medicines is much simpler today in light of the notification of Essential Drug List of Ayurvedic drugs by the Department of AYUSH. Two years prior to that, the WHO funded the first meeting of Ayurvedic Swasthya Bima Yojana, held at BHU. Government officials, AYUSH practitioners, academicians and ayurvedic insurance companies represented the meet, where a proposal was passed that the Indian government direct insurance and health companies to include ayurveda into their insurance policies. While that has been done with the latest gazette order, inclusion of AYUSH into the RSBY should be the next step.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Dr. Yashwant Amdekar - Vaccination...

The following is a short note by Dr. Yashwant Amdekar on Vaccination needs for children forwarded to Dr. Sailakshmi of Ekam Foundation.

1. Vaccines that should be given to all children -  EPI vaccines must be given to all children and are available free of charge through government and municipal outlets. These include BCG, DPT, OPV, Measles – primary and booster doses. It is important not to miss booster dose of DPT and OPV at 18 months. If child misses the opportunity, vaccine can be given any time thereafter. In case of missed dose, previous dose need not be repeated even if there is a long gap. HBV (hepatitis B) and HiB (bacterial hemophilus influenza vaccine) is being introduced in phases by the government and if available free or affordable, must be taken.

2. MMR vaccine is ideal only when its coverage in the community is large and in which case, second dose of MMR would be necessary anytime at next planned visit but not before 2 months. IAP recommends it at 5 years. If MMR vaccine coverage in the community is poor, it is better not to give MMR as there is a chance of developing natural immunity due to pool of infection continuing in the community. In fact such an exposure to these infections in childhood will prevent occurrence of such disease in later life. Mumps and Rubella are likely to be harmful in later life as against in early childhood. So, either consider two doses of  MMR or no dose.

3. Rubella vaccine may be ideal if woman has not had Rubella during childhood and is ideally given before pregnancy. However it is not easy to know whether woman has had such an infection early in life. In such a case, it may be ideal to offer Rubella vaccine so as to prevent Rubella syndrome in foetal life. Alternatively MMR vaccine can be given as it is easily available and may offer some more protection against Mumps and Measles besides Rubella. There is no harm of vaccine given to a woman if she has had such an infection in the past.                                                                                                                 

HPV vaccine has some scientific benefits. Firstly as cause of cervical cancer is known to be due to human papilloma virus (16 and 18 serotypes) infection, vaccine is more specific against cervical cancer. Secondly, such an infection is almost universal though only small number of infected women would go on to develop cervical cancer. But in absence of regular screening program in our country (in fact, such screening is not much prevalent even in western countries), diagnosis of cervical cancer is possible only in late stage that is nearly fatal. Worst part of this disease is the fact that it hits women in their 30’s and 40’s and loss of mother at this age is disastrous to the family. From all these points of view, HPV vaccine may be considered if affordable but it cannot be recommended to be included in government program because there are more pressing problems than HPV.

4. I would add about IPV. With near eradication of wild polio infection in India (early January 2014, India will be polio-free), we are all elated. However success is still far away as there have been epidemics of polio in countries who were polio-free for many years and this was due to either importation of wild polio virus from countries who still continue to harbor such an infection or also caused by OPV that is capable of developing vaccine derived polio virus besides vaccine associated polio virus. Unfortunately such virus though not wild, is capable of causing same degree of harm as that of wild virus. In fact, if we don’t take proper care, polio caused by vaccine virus is likely to occur at any age including adults and by then if most adults have lost immunity against polio, such a disease may also be fatal and result in epidemics. So IPV is the need of the hour and government is likely to bring IPV in routine immunization schedule for all children in addition to OPV that may have to be continued for some more years. But under cover of IPV, OPV will not cause any harm and over years OPV may have to discontinued.

Finally I feel if anyone can afford just one extra vaccine beyond EPI vaccines, it must be IPV. Far more important is to improve coverage of EPI vaccines in the country which stands at dismal 50% only in spite of vaccine available free to the community. We need at least > 90% coverage to be effective in preventing pool of infection so that even unvaccinated children would be safe as they would not have any exposure to vaccine preventable infection.

So pass on two important messages. First - every child must take EPI vaccines including booster dose of DPT and OPV. Second – if possible give IPV at least one dose that can prime better immune response to OPV and may avoid vaccine induced disease.   


temper tantrum is a behavior by which a toddler exhibits his or her protest and it ranges from crying, screaming, hitting to breath holding, head banging or even rolling on the floor.
It is equally common amongst boys and girls and the common age group is between 1 and 4 years.
Tantrums  are a part of normal development and need not be looked upon as negative behaviour but requires appropriate, sensitive and sensible management.
Tantrums peak during that developmental phase when a child understands a lot more than he or she is able to express. The prime reasons may be :-
  • Frustration resulting from lack of expression of needs.
  • Need to have independence in day to day activities.
  • Demanding parents and their over disciplining methods.
The following reasons may precipitate a tantrum
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Frustration when not getting his or her demands
  • ‘’Attention seeking’’
“Prevention is better than cure” – so how does one prevent a tantrum???
  • Giving attention for the child’s positive behaviour in order to avoid attention seeking behaviour/ tantrum
  • Encourage the child to be independent in little chores of daily life. Allow choice making in simple things like dress, food, play activity etc., to make him/ her feel important and responsible.
  • Move from teaching simple skills to complex ones to avoid frustration
  • Involve the child in planning any outing or activity based on his/her mood and fatigue level. Do not expect them to follow strict social rules at all times
  • If the child’s demands are reasonable, it is better to accept rather than to refuse.if not it results in a mess for both the child and the parents
  • If there is a premonitory symptom of a tantrum, one can distract the child and give him/her a new toy or enjoyable activity or just change the environment and monitor for the change
  • Prepare the child for places where he/ she might throw a tantrum, eg. Shopping, social gatherings etc.,
If still , there is a tantrum , how does one manage it???
  • The most important thing to keep in mind for the parent is , “To keep calm and cool and stay in control”. A parent’s frustration will aggravate the tantrum.
  • Parents must look for the precipitating cause and manage accordingly
  • The child should not be punished. Hitting or spanking is of no use as the parent is the role model for the child
  • If the reason is attention seeking or for unreasonable demands, then the parent must continue their activities paying no attention to the child , even avoid eye contact
  • But make sure that one parent stays around and do not leave the child alone as during the tantrum the child will be  in an emotional outburst status which would be worsened by loneliness
  • If there is a risk of hurting himself or others , or in the event of a tantrum in a public place, the child has to be taken to a calm place and allow him/ her to settle and talk to him about the behaviour once he/ she has settled
  • Do not give in to the unreasonable demands , this will mean you are rewarding the tantrum. This will  teach the child to use tantrums to manipulate those around him and his environment. Possibilities are that such behaviour may continue even into adulthood
  • If the tantrum involves the child’s safety issue then, physical restraint or a brief period of “time out”may be required
After storm …….  it must be calm…. so, what does one do???
  • Make sure that the parent’s looks and body language indicate that he/ she is willing to comfort and support the child
  • The child has to be praised verbally and given reassuring hugs to show that the parent ishappy that the child has regained his or her control
  • The parents must talk to the child later about the behaviour and explain  tantrums are incorrect and also about appropriate behaviour which would make them feel happy
So, when will a tantrum require medical attention ???
  • Tantrums increasing in frequency, intensity and duration
  • Child frequently hurts himself or others
  • To rule out physical problems like earache, headache, pain abdomen or vision issues as cause of tantrum
  • Underlying behavioural or mood disorders
  • Child is in ‘’Demolition – man mode ‘’
Tantrums usually settle as communication improves .Children gradually settle down with their peer group and academic and family settings as they grow up.
  • Remember that you are the role model for your child
  • Stay in control and only then you can think of controlling your child or the tantrum
  • Encourage positive behaviour to help them exhibit more of good behaviour
  • Avoid criticism and punishment
  • Express to the children that  you love them a lot and you only hate the inappropriate behaviour
Don’t you feel we can modify the old saying’’ Spare the rod and spoil the child” to  ‘’ Spare the rod and mould the child’’
forwarded and recommended by: Dr. Sailakshmi, Ekam Foundation

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

World Bio-Diversity Day!

May 22nd is the World Bio-Diversity Day as declared by U.N. This recent need to acknowledge that diversity is important for the collective future of mankind has resulted in such declaration (its merely 11 yrs now). World over the loss of diversity in crops, particularly food crops have been noticed with great concern by scientists and concerned citizens alike. The loss of diversity in food in particular and all crops has resulted in them becoming vulnerable for pest attacks of all kinds and need more fortification in terms of fertilizers and chemical pesticides. A look at the drop in the diversity can be seen in the image (link).

What's all this got to do with human health?, one may ask. Its not just the crops, but, also human health that needs more fortification to sustain life in a mono-cropped world. Children in some many parts of the world today receive 12 times more vaccine than what they received seventy years ago. We have heard so many times during our field interactions when village elders reveal how they ate diverse forms of millets and stayed healthy till old age whereas youngsters brought up in just rice today often are not as strong even in their teens and twenties and fall pray to diabetes in their thirties. Diversity of crops provided the eco-system to withstand diverse types of changes, mono-culture rendered them more vulnerable. Same way, diversity of food provides our bodies better nutrition and good health. Let's celebrate diversity in our food and environment and stay healthy (read more here).


Friday, 15 February 2013

Village Health Committee Meeting at Thally block Krishnagiri dist on 13th Feb 2013

Village Health Commitee Meeting and  PHC Center Visit @ Thally block  Krishnagiri Dist

       On 13th Feb 2013 we are conducting a Village Health Commitee Meeting at Thally block in Anchetti Panchayat office  ( Mavanatti village) .Participated in Village Health Commitee members Ms.Shanthi President ,Mr.Madevi Nanjundan Ward member,Ms.Shantha VHN,Ms.Tamilselvi VHN,Ms.P.Kavitha SHG,Ms.Uma SHG,Ms.M.Kavitha volunteer . To the processes of village sanitation, maternal and child nutrition and health, pregnancy and Services health related topics we  are discussed . On Friday the first week of each month to have the Village Health commitee Meeting decision at this meeting. Village Health commitee members and all the names and responsibilities, their phone number, written on the card  from  Anchetti PHC Hospital and panchayat office been in for all to see.
Some Snap Shots on 13th Feb 2013


PHC Center Visits and Some details Collecting :
Ph Number
Dr.Shankar Ganesh
4 Block Medical officers
Dr.Ashok kumar
Total 9 VHN ,currently 3 VHN working ,6 VHN debtation.



Staff Nurse

4 Members




ASHA Volunteer

Total 20 members
ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

ASHA Volunteer

Regional Coordinator
Ekam Foundation
No,16/19,2nd Floor,
jayalakshmipuram 1st Street,