Society for Education, Welfare and Action - Rural (SEWA Rural)
I am working on a mobile phone technology project called ImTeCHO, for improving the health of pregnant women, mothers and children in a tribal area of south Gujarat. Our project aims to strengthen the capacity of ASHA through the mobile phone for effective implementation of proven health practices for reducing mother and child deaths.
Education and Skill building
Experimenting / Pilot stage; Stabilising
Being a doctor and public health professional, I have come across a number of people during my medical studies and after that also, those who are tribals and poor has to borrow money from others or use savings or sell home appliances and cut down financial expenses in order to take healthcare services. I have also seen cases in my work area, where parents refused to go the hospital for treatment of their child due to lack of money. In India, due to an inadequate number of public health care facilities and crowding of doctors in a city area, the majority of rural poor and tribals spends out of pocket expenditure on availing health services. And this cycle of being poor and illness again puts them into the weaker section of society in terms of money. The majority of middle-class Indians come under Below Poverty Line (BPL) due to costly healthcare services. Today Government of India has launched multiple programs in public health facilities, however, implementation of them till the last man in society who is directly affected by it is poor. After attending Nirman camp, at SEARCH, Gadchiroli under the guidance of Dr Abhay and Dr Rani Bang, I decided to work in an area where there are inadequate healthcare services and also where I can apply my knowledge and skills for improving the health of poor which will also improve their financial status due to adopting healthy practices. Also, this will give purpose for my life and a reason to live.Since last 1.5 years, I am working in an implementation research project at SEWA Rural in Jhagadia, Gujarat to improve the health of mother and children. I am still exploring my myself and possible different solutions for reducing poverty in our area and through various available literature and by visiting other NGO's. Also, field visits in working area helpes me to understand the social context and cultural practices adopted by different communities which are beneficial and harmful also. I personally think that Behaviour Change is an essential for following and adopting healthy practices in a long time will greatly impact communities for coming out of poverty. Along with this, empowering communities through education and providing employment opportunities based on local needs as I daily watch in ou NGO, such as Garment making and Papad Udyog for women, has really transformed the life of not only women but their whole family.
Currently, a cluster randomized trial is going on in 22 PHC's of two tribal districts, Bharuch and Narmada of south Gujarat. The final report is expected to come in late 2017 after end line survey. However, our experience in a project area has shown significant improvement in increasing hospital deliveries and early access to care for beneficiaries in villages.
Through implementing ImTeCHO in other PHC's and areas having a high prevalence of undernutrition and high maternal and child deaths.