First Care interventions for RHPs:
- 13 RHPs have been linked with existing internet kiosks in their own villages and 8 have invested in setting up their own systems.
- Distance learning: Deliver distance learning modules in local language
- Skills training: Short classroom based skills training
- Online patient records: Online patient records for different conditions – general patient record, child growth tracker, records for noting laboratory test results.
- Essential laboratory testing: Training in essential laboratory testing – anemia, urine and blood sugar, malaria
- Online health supplies: Online ordering of health supplies including nutritional supplements, essential equipment, test kits and selected non-prescription medicines
Current developments include:
- Mobile telephony and voice technology applications
- Establish revenue streams (fee for training and web access)
- Expansion to RHPs in other states
For decades, the problem in India has been that very few medical professionals are willing to live and work in the rural areas. We believe the answer lies in equipping local providers to deliver good quality first care. The most widespread and popular health providers of first contact in rural India are rural medical practitioners: private providers with a paramedical or alternative system background, who serve the communities in which they live.
We care for the millions of rural people who are forced to suffer from preventable and curable illnesses because they do not have access to quality primary care. For women who die in childbirth and children who grow up in a web of malnutrition and disease. For patients of TB and malaria, victims of sudden accidents and injuries, and those who silently bear the stigma and burden of HIV and mental health problems. Ironically, much of this pain and suffering can be reduced by simple primary level interventions delivered by well-informed health providers.
Our strategies include an e-learning programme to improve providers’ knowledge and skills, development of online patient records and their applications on mobile platforms, promotion of a holistic approach to patient care; development of e-strategies for standardization of health services; online purchase of low cost commodities and public health products, and training providers in essential laboratory testing.
We are already working with a small team of private providers in one district of Tamil Nadu, and will soon be adding more in other parts of India.
Our first commitment is to improve available primary health care in villages.
Away from the glitter and élan of India’s prospering urban spaces, several million in the rural hinterland continue to bear the burden of preventable and curable illnesses, with serious physical, economic and social consequences. We think that it is ironic, and lamentable, that at a time when state of the art Corporate Hospitals have made India a leading hub of global medical tourism, the vast majority of her population has no access to basic and primary healthcare. These voiceless millions are our constituency and our market.