Arogya Project – Community Health Initiative
The Arogya project aims to create a model and reproducible community-based health care delivery system in order to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, and improve the general state of well being of the population within the project area. This model brings systematic reforms to the state sponsored health care delivery mechanism, emphasizing the importance of health care to be simple, cost-effective, humane, and most-importantly self-sustained by communities. Located in the remote regions of Uttarakhand, India, the project area includes 30 villages, benefiting over 12,000 people. Aarohi works at both the household and community levels bringing together training, awareness and treatment, and linking with secondary and tertiary services provided by governmental and non-governmental institutions in order to achieve its aim.
The project's objectives are:
- To improve maternal health
- To enhance child health status and decrease child mortality and morbidity
- To build capacities at all levels
- To promote health awareness, general well being and preventive care
- To establish linkages with government and other organizations
- To promote goals of National Rural Health Mission
- To improve the status of various social determinants of health
Aarohi has encouraged the formation of Village Health and Sanitation Committees and nomination of Swasthya Karmis (Village Health Workers). The Swasthya Karmis are trained in maternal and childcare, first aid, and treatment of common diseases. A detailed Health Management Information System has also been developed to track pregnant mothers, child growth, immunization coverage and morbidity and mortality for target groups.
In addition to collaborating with local health workers, Aarohi engages with local youth through the Arogya project’s BSPT (Bal Swasthya Prachar Team) program. This program works to educate children on various issues and sensitize the community by involving local students. Through the activities of street plays, clean–up campaigns and important health related discussions, the BSPT program has proven to be a great success in communicating the importance of health to the community.
The Arogya project’s approach to community health care is one that considers social and environmental determinants of health. As such, the Aarohi has partnered with communities to build smokeless cooking stoves, identify and test sources of drinking water and construct waste disposal pits.
Aarohi Arogya Kendra (Aarohi’s cottage hospital in Satoli)
In addition to extensive programs in preventive health care, the Aarohi Arogya Kendra or cottage hospital at its village headquarters in Satoli, provides essential outpatient, in-patient, emergency and diagnostic services. 50 villages in the region are able to take advantage of these highly demanded curative services. The hospital itself has an inpatient capacity of 10 beds and includes an operation theatre, an in-house laboratory and fully equipped X-Ray facilities. The hospital charges on an average INR 50 (a little over US $1), which includes consultation, medicines and investigations, and provides care for over 4,000 patients every year.
A unique activity of the Aarohi Arogya Kendra is the numerous health camps offered throughout the year. These camps bring in specialists to offer services in Gynaecology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Plastic Surgery, Paediatrics, Internal Medicine, Dentistry, Radiology, and to conduct surgical operations. Doctors from various parts of the country and abroad offer voluntary services and the benefit is passed on to the rural population as highly subsidized care.
To reach patients in the region’s more remote areas, the hospital runs mobile clinics, where hospital staff and visiting doctors travel to villages, treating populations in areas with little or no access to proper health care services.