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Rural Healthcare

By the time you would finish reading this page 2 women and 30 children would have died due to preventable causes in India.

Some more numbers are in the slide-show above.

Numbers speak volumes but if you want to read a story behind these number then -

Consider the fate of a child who is born in India today. Is she going to be a citizen of third largest economy by her 2nd birthday or will she be another one of the four million under-5 deaths by then? It doesn't help that most of the ill-fated have very little say in the answer. Put yourself in the shoes of millions who have lost their children or a mother to these numbers or for whom sickness brought a generation long poverty curse. For these people making a living over seeking healthcare even in dire straits is a rational decision.

To overcome these big numbers we need to address the core problem - Lack of accessibility to quality and affordable healthcare in rural/remote locations. Neither the sluggish Govt. Healthcare setups nor the utopian telemedicine have proven to be the long term solutions to this humongous problem.

The sub-problems are:

  1. Very low doctor-patient ratio (Even 1:25000 in some rural pockets)
  2. Confidence and skill gap which persists in health-workers: Lack of both decision support for diagnosis and treatment and backend support for monitoring and follow-up of patients.
  3. Low community compliance and health awareness.
  4. Absence of real-time data for tracking, assessment and policy making.

The major constraints in addressing these problems are

  1. Limited resources both skill and monetary - Rural healthcare relies on semi-skilled health-workers or private unregistered practitioners. Relocation of resources to rural areas is an unsustainable proposition.
  2. Poor decision making and compliance to protocols by these semi-skilled practitioners.
  3. All potential interventions are undermined by low community participation, awareness and compliance. These form the last mile of the seemingly solved, preventable problems.

We at Newdigm are addressing the need of single point of contact, where all the health needs (curative or preventive) of the rural people could be met. When their health needs can't be met with reformed local resources, we guide them to the next step bridging the chasm between need and access by bringing health services to their doorstep.

TEDxVelammal - Dr. Saurav - 02_09_10_(360p)