Extensive experience with public health for poor communities across different parts of India suggests the following:
- Rural areas, especially in remote regions, will continue to see at least in the near term, a lack of sufficient performing, on-site qualified doctors and high level medical professionals.
- The majority of health problems of rural India are related to a set of infectious diseases and bad health practices.
Since 2002, our partner the Health Promotion Program at the Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service, Varanasi, has been developing at its multimedia labs, a series of acclaimed 1/2 hour Hindi language movies on various health topics. Designed to be entertaining and informative, these movies utilize cartoon animations and videos to engage illiterate audiences through a journey covering causation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The creation of the movies was accompanied by a high quality dissemination campaign, including 'doorstep' dissemination by a mobile team of trained health professionals, Q&A sessions, summary sheets, home exercises, extension exercises, video logs, competitions, and intensive workshops. The full library of resources created includes 12 health topics. Over 4,00,000 students and villagers have already received exposure to various health topics under this program.
Samihta inaugurated its health program in 2009 with the health education intervention. To date, the geographic focus has been in villages and schools of the Rewa region, and over 35,000 individuals have participated on 2 topics - Tobacco Use Prevention, and Child Health. Samhita has also conducted workshops on issues of women's health for center leaders of Samhita Microfinance.