As a third-year medical student, I had a rotation in obstetrics and gynecology. At this rotation, I had an experience with a patient that transformed my professional path and encouraged my promotional community-based activity as a health care practitioner. The patient whom I encountered was a woman admitted for infertility evaluation. In the course of her assessment, I learned that the patient had a history of pelvic inflammatory disease due to unhygienic practices during the menstrual period, which ultimately led to permanent infertility.
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Witnessing her emotional reaction to the news about her inability to get pregnant anytime in life, I felt moved. The patient explained that she used clothes as sanitary pads, then washed and reused them. This information was a signal for me to take immediate action and provide guidance. That experience drove my decision to spread awareness about hygiene in the slum area.
I made brochures in my vernacular language and distributed them to slum areas and nearby villages. I conducted approximately 20 workshops at Karamsad, Anand, and Ahmedabad, where I promoted sanitary pads usage. This experience taught me to remain proactive and raise awareness of preventable diseases. After that experience, I participated in the National School Health Program, Vector-Borne Diseases Control Program, Blood donation camps. I also spread awareness about prenatal check-ups and vaccination in the community and hospital settings. I participated in health fairs, where I educated people about preventable diseases and nutrition.