MEDIA IN INDIA
Drs. Raj and Mabelle Arole founded the Jamkhed model, known also as the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), in 1970. Together they envisioned this project while studying public health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. They resolved to return to India after their studies and set up a program to provide health care to a very poor and underserved rural area surrounding Jamkhed in Maharashtra State in India.
Global Health Ministries has introduced the Jamkhed model in several countries. The Jamkhed model enables even illiterate woman from the untouchable caste to have the power and knowledge to become a village health worker (VHW). A VHW uses her knowledge to work with her community to combat root causes of poverty and sickness. Implementing the Jamkhed model in rural villages is empowering communities to have access to basic health care, abolish caste discrimination, and battle poverty.
Learn more about Jamkhed below or visit our photo journal for a colorful introduction!
Village Health Workers
Since 1970 Jamkhed/CRHP has used the Community Based Primary Health Care (CBPHC) model to provide basic health care, primarily through the use of Village Health Workers (VHWs). These are women selected by the community to serve and are given training, supervision and support by the CRHP. They offer basic health cares services to their community, including a
strong emphasis on midwifery and maternal and child care. In addition, they provide public health education including family planning, hygiene, and nutrition. Another major part of their activities includes working with community groups to provide better sanitation and water supply to the population and to develop community programs which will reduce poverty. One of the major goals of the CRHP is the empowerment and mobilization of communities to eliminate injustices through the implementation of health care and development activities.
Mobile Health Teams
In addition to the VHW’S, there are Mobile Health Teams (MHT’s) which support the VHW’S by visiting and working with them in their communities. During these visits, the MHT’s provide assistance in a number of different areas including health services delivery, health promotion and prevention services, and community development projects. These teams provide the VHW’S with additional expertise for the solution of a variety of health and development problems, and provide backup in situations where there may be personnel shortages. Another major role of the MHT’s is to assist in the collection of health data which is used to evaluate the efficacy of the CRHP’s work.
A Hospital to Provide Secondary Healthcare
The final component of the CRHP has been the development and expansion of a secondary care hospital which serves a population of 500,000 from the area around Jamkhed.
A small hospital was developed in 1970, but the need for hospital-based services grew and in 2009 a new 50 bed facility was opened. This hospital provides surgical services, delivery services for more complicated pregnancies, x-ray, laboratory and pharmaceutical services. This hospital provides the necessary backup to the community in support of the CBPHC services which are provided throughout the Jamkhed area.
Training and Education in CBPHC at Jamkhed
In 1994 Jamkhed CRHP opened a center to provide training in the basic strategies, concepts and methods of CBPHC. Since that time, Jamkhed has provided training for more than 30,000 people from Jamkhed, other parts of India and around the globe. This training has ranged from short field observations of a few days to two-month diploma courses. Other options include faculty-led courses at the college level which last several weeks as well as providing the basic training necessary to prepare the trainees to become CBPHC health workers in their home communities. The Jamkhed program has been implemented in many other countries, and it has become an important new strategy for the development of better health care for rural communities. The Jamkhed approach to CBPHC and its training center have received many awards over the years as well as recognition by both the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
CRHP's Impact and Results
The CRHP’s impact on the health of the community has been extensively evaluated. Data is collected as part of the operation of the community programs and significant improvements in the health of the population have been documented. More than 775,000 patients have been treated during the life of the CRHP. Some examples of program impact include: a reduction of the infant mortality rate from 176/1000 to 20/1000; a reduction in the child mortality rate (after the neonatal period) of 30%, an increase in the use of contraception from 0.5% to nearly 60%, and vaccination rates of 99% for OPV and DPT in CRHP villages.
In addition to the many health workers who have been trained (as mentioned above) the program’s emphasis on reducing gender inequality has produced a dramatic empowerment of the VHW women and adolescent girls. Another major impact has been the implementation of many community development projects through the cooperative efforts of the CRHP with the villages through the formation of farmers’ and womens’ clubs in each village. These village level organizations have promoted the development of more than 900 water improvement projects, the planting of more than 5 million trees and many other projects
Learning More About Jamkhed and its Work
There is much more to learn about the CRHP at Jamkhed, its work and the CBPHC approach that is being used there. Attached is a list of articles which will give you much more information on this subject. You may want to start by going to Jamkhed’s website at www.jamkhed.org. which provides a good place to start.