SEARCH has developed a network of trained professionals that are similar to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) trained by the Govt of India. SEARCH's employees work part-time to deliver medical care at a very low cost to the patient. The organization has a field area of 86 rural villages and 40 tribal villages with a population of 100,000.
Improving Options for the Delivery of Newborns
Government facilities are very poor and private providers are not operating in this area. Women have little choice but to deliver babies at home. SEARCH facilitates this with its network of community health workers who conduct deliveries and also play the role of a "pediatrician".
Community-Based Health Facility
The SEARCH hospital is a medical hospital catering to the needs of the tribal people around Gadchiroli, approximately 2 million individuals. In addition to serving more than 20,000 patients each year, the hospital runs medical camps and provides ambulatory services. Its services, including surgeries, are provided at very affordable rates. Food at the hospital is cooked according to local traditions of tribal people, and the leaders in this community named the hospital for a local goddess.
SEARCH is also piloting the use of modern technology to get more coverage and better results, using mobile phones and the internet.
Neonatal mortality in the district declined by 70 percent over seven years. The program also helped cut the rate of illness in half for mothers during and immediately after childbirth