CHIRAJ is a self funded 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization created by Dr. Rajeev Fernando on behalf of his parents Chitra and Raj based in New York, USA. Our vision is to empower impoverished women and children facing poverty and injustice one step at a time. We have served all over the world through medical missions, vaccination camps and Tsunamis. Rajeev previously worked with Doctors Without Borders in Darfur and has been voted among New York’s best Infectious Diseases Doctors for the past seven years since 2014. He also works with the Department of Homeland Security as a physician on Plum island, New York. Rajeev is on the medical advisory panel for What to expect when you’re expecting. He provides his expertise on how to stay safe for expecting mothers and children.
Dr. Rajeev Fernando remains the only US based physician to investigate the outbreak in China.
He took appropriate precautions while he was there. He remains asymptomatic after his return.
CHIRAJ also focuses on making documentaries on humanitarian crisis’ and pandemics around the world. His first film is a film about the Zika virus pandemic that was shot at Recife, Brazil the epicenter of the outbreak. It is a five year film shot between 2016 and 2020 which goes beyond the science of this mutated virus. It depicts the day to day life of the struggling mothers and babies in order to stay afloat and obtain basic women’s rights.
Zika pandemic trailer - 5 year project
Dr. Fernando is currently shooting a short documentary on the effects of climate change on human health. The film is shot in Australia where the raging wildfires continue in Greenland and the Amazon Forrest in Brazil. As an Infectious Diseases expert, Rajeev says, ‘We will definitely start to see more cases of Lyme disease and tick borne disease in the U.S as a consequence of climate change.' He treated patients affected by the Asian Tsunami event in 2004 in India and once again volunteered during Hurricane Maria-in Puerto Ricco.
Rajeev’s true passion is mentoring medical students and medical residents towards building the physician of tomorrow. He was nominated by HSBC bank for the HSBC 2018 Cares award.
Dr. Fernando has been working in the field of Addiction Medicine since 2017 where he treats patients with withdrawal syndromes from opioids. He serves on a Substance Abuse Committee in Long Island devising protocols for optimal patient care. After hospital discharge from the acute detox unit or rehabilitation unit, many women are homeless and are forced to live in sober living houses. CHIRAJ assists recovering female addicts by assisting with monthly expenditures in staying sober and stay in off the streets. The consequences of going back to the streets are that they can relapse or be forced into prostitution to survive. To complicate matters, many of these unfortunate women are single mothers.
Millions of impoverished girls around the world miss up to 5 school days a month as they are unable to afford menstrual hygiene products. They are forced to use just about anything to control the bleeding - jeans, rugs or pillow cases. Talking about menstruation in many countries is virtually forbidden. Many girls are viewed as dirty when they are menstruating. CHIRAJ has started its pilot project which assist three villages in South India to assist girls and adolescent women with a monthly supply of menstrual pads. Our pads are biodegradable. We have purchased a machine to manufacture menstrual hygiene products for two villages and employ local women which also promotes the local economy. We empower more girls stay in school and get the appropriate education they deserve. Ultimately, we set them up for success in the competitive job market.
Making a menstruated pad
Join us to celebrate
World Menstrual Day
Rajeev had lost one of his best friends to breast cancer. He does everything he can to promote awareness to getting screened per guidelines ( American Cancer Society ). He models and helps fundraise for Lucia’s Angels annual reconstructive bra event.
Rajeev says this year 250k women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For many women, physical changes after breast surgery can make them feel less comfortable with their bodies.
There are 70 million refugees in the world today, out of which 40 million people are internally displaced people. The vast majority of refugees are from Syria and Afghanistan. The sea route between Turkey and Lesvos island Greece is 6 miles and is the easiest way for refugees to enter Europe. It is roughly a 20 minutes to 3 hours boat ride depending on which vessel is used. Almost a million people have entered Europe this way. The journey has its risks. Many refugees have acute medical problems during the boat ride when they arrive in Lesvos.
CHIRAJ supports the medical needs of these people as first responders as they are rescued from the Aegean sea.
Mosquitos are the most dangerous animals in the world. The CDC says 3.6 billion people are at risk for mosquito borne disease. Mothers are often alone in their efforts to support their Zika babies. When life becomes more challenging with Zika babies, husbands frequently abandon them. They have to stop working as looking after the babies can feel like a 24 hour day job. They undergo whats called a Caregiver syndrome. Depression is universal in these mothers, yet none of them get proper psychological care.
CHIRAJ strives to achieve to provide a stronger support system by arranging therapy sessions for them to express their difficulties. We also provide 'spa' days with manicures, pedicures and massages for them to give them a break from their their routine. CHIRAJ sponsors a large group home where like minded mothers can congregate as a support group and express concerns.
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