Country of Operation
- Government of India, Government of KarnatakaGovernment
- National Insurance CorporationGovernment
- United Nations Development Program (UNDP)Foreign aid agency or multilateral organization
SummaryEstablished in 1986, Karuna Trust in a public charitable trust that has been implementing health and development programs in India for over two decades.
The primary objective of Karuna Trust was to bridge a vital gap in the health care system – the Primary Health Care (PHC) System – an ambitious project of the Government to deliver quality health care to the remotest corners of the country
Key program components
Health Service Delivery
In health, the Trust has progressed from curative health to community health and sustainable development. The state government handed over physical infrastructure of poor performing Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to Karuna Trust for management. Karuna Trust provides these centers with the required human resource and logistics to deliver preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative health care services to remote rural/tribal population. The Trust establishes these PHCs as model centers of care delivery and makes them a hub for different interventions such as a village resource centre, promotion of traditional medicine, Vision Centre for eye care, Community Health Insurance, Telemedicine, Community Mental Health Program etc.
To monitor community health and ensure institutional deliveries, the Trust employs health workers, namely ANMs, ASHAs and anganwadi workers, to go on field visits, perform ante-natal care registration, educate expectant mothers, and follow up each patient throughout their pregnancy until delivery. The community health workers also engage in post-natal care and ensure that children complete all scheduled immunizations.
Furthermore, Karuna Trust operates 7 Mobile Health Clinics and 2 Citizen Help Desks under Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Karnataka. Karuna Trust currently manages 26 government primary health centers in Karnataka, 11 in Arunachal Pradesh, 6 in Orissa, 3 in Meghalaya and 2 in Andhra Pradesh, covering more than 730 thousand people.
Community-based health insurance:
In 2002, the Trust established a community-based health insurance scheme to address the challenges of poor access to and high costs of health care services in rural communities. Instead of directly covering health care costs, the model addresses the barriers to accessing care by offering a comprehensive hospitalization package, including compensation for lost wages, free medicines, and emergency transport. Medical care with no disease exclusions is provided at no cost at local public sector facilities. Local community organizations (self-help groups and village health committees) enroll members and collect premiums in their local area. To increase understanding and knowledge about the benefits of health insurance, the United Nations Development Programme subsidized the premium for the first two years.
Apart from this, Karuna Trust has also been involved in several research projects and government activities - the most important ones being ASHA training, community monitoring under the National Rural Health Mission and addressing issues like governance and corruption through the Karnataka Lokayukta with Dr. H Sudarshan as the Vigilance Director. Increasingly, Karuna Trust is building up a research profile by implementing relevant action research in the fields of health systems, eHealth and epidemiology.