World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1st to 7th August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life”— a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a baby’s future.

From the earliest moments of a child’s life, breastfeeding can mean the difference between life and death. Putting newborns to the breast within the first hour of life safeguards against newborn deaths. In fact, improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of 823,000 children under age five every year.

For World Hepatitis Day 2018, WHO will focus on the theme: “Test. Treat. Hepatitis”.

Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally. They are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades. At least 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C, which causes 1.34 million deaths annually. Low coverage of testing and treatment need to be addressed, in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030. Students of Government Medical College, Amritsar teamed up with internationally recognized charity and NGO: Deep Mission to host a two-day health camp. Two centers were strategically chosen so that the maximum number of children could be examined. One is the Public School under the NGO. The team included 5 interns and up to 8 undergraduates working seamlessly as a unit. The health assessment included a one on one brief consultation allowing the children to voice any complaints they might have, blood pressure monitoring, weight, height measurement, auscultation, and a physical exam. A glucometer was made available to check for blood sugar if necessary.

Following the assessment, the children even put up a zealous singing performance to show their gratitude towards the team. Individual files were prepared on the basis of the held examination and organized according to the severity of any uncovered cause for concern. The prepared files will also help the NGO by serving as a personalized documented medical record for subsequent future use. We, as medical students were glad to provide such a pragmatic service through such an educational experience.

Japmehr Kaur Sandhu
(College Head)