India is drawing global attention due to its deep political, economic and social transformations which have significantly improved the standard of living of its people. Unfortunately, this socioeconomic change is largely an urban phenomenon and rural population continues to suffer from economic deprivation and emerging health profile in rural areas is a cause for concern for stakeholders associated with healthcare in India.
Nearly 75% of healthcare infrastructure, medical personnel, and other resources are concentrated in urban locations where only 27% of the population exist. The rural population is impacted by contagious, infectious and waterborne diseases like typhoid, infectious, diarrhoea, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough, amoebiasis, hepatitis, worm infestations, malaria, respiratory infections, pneumonia, and reproductive tract infections. Again, non-communicable diseases like blindness, cancer, mental disorder, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, accidents, and injuries are also increasing.
We in the urban areas are always seeking better facilities; imagine the plight of the people in rural areas. Is this the GDP measured economic growth that we are so aggressively promoting. If this trend continues, it would challenge democracy as a system of governance and shake the foundations of our constitution.
We are constantly aspiring for a better quality of life, but the unforgiving reality in rural India is that most adults working in agricultural fields are chronically starved, a significant % of children are permanently stunted from undernutrition, one out of ten babies do not make it past the first year of their life. Many children in rural areas leave school year-on-year because of an illness in the family and they have to work to add to the families income. This cost of hospitalization places the affected families below the poverty line.
Step back for a minute and put yourself in their shoes. It’s not a good feeling, right? Then, it’s time for us to feel for them too.
With this thought in the mind, Samaarambh Foundation – A NGO with compassion was launched to provide medical support to the poorest of the poor in remote areas. We have reached over 1 lakh beneficiaries so far and hope to touch 1 million lives in the near future. We have been recognized by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, established a partnership with the Global Innovation Exchange and also have been profiled in the CHMI website.
Health is closely connected to the overall wellbeing of people and it is significantly impacted by various factorslike transformations in the economic climate,availability of resources, quality of existing infrastructure, food growing capacity, and access to healthcare. The situation in rural areas is particularly severe.The lack of sufficient manpower, unwilling community participation, and ineffective coordination among healthcare stakeholders further aggravate the situation. The rural healthcare system is also slow in adopting new practices and procedures to ensure that quality and timely healthcare reaches the deprived corners.
The situation is alarming and could lead to the collapse of the healthcare infrastructure in rural areas due to the overcrowding of healthcare seekers. The dearth of qualified medical functionariesand non- access to basic medicines and medical facilities means that the poor people in rural areas have to visit urban areas for treatment. Often, they either delay the treatment or avoid the treatment because of economic reasons. This could seriously impact their health condition in the long-run, thereby reducing the life expectancy. Considering that the prevailing healthcare environment affects millions of people, every concerned stakeholder must support government initiatives and reduce the tremendous pressure on the existing public healthcare mechanism.
Samaarambh Foundation is deeply committed to providing leadership on issues critical to health, maintaining partnerships as appropriate, adhering to the norms and standards set by the government, supporting research work, promoting ethical and evidence-based treatment, delivering technical assistance, organizing funds, facilitating change, constructing viable institutional capacity, observing the health condition, and evaluating health trends.
Rural India would always be the backbone of the nation and wellbeing of rural India would always be based on a healthy and caring medical infrastructure. We want to be recognized as the benchmark in rural healthcare services in the future. Help us to serve you.