Meeting health challenges in remote mountain communities

Posted in Charitable Trust on Monday, July 29th, 2019

The Tulsi Tele-Health Care Project

 

The Village Ways Charitable Trust supports our partner communities in many ways, with projects varying from developing employment opprtunities in sectors sucha s textiles to health education projects in remote areas where health provision is precarious at best. We are delighted to update progress on an innovative project that uses digital technology to link communities to doctors and other health professionals via the internet.

Having worked with the communities in Saryu and Pindar valleys of Kumaon region to improve preventative health care since 2008, the Village Ways Charitable Trust has been developing options for basic primary health care. As there are practically no doctors in the area, the Trust looked for innovative solutions that could effectively bring in primary health care to these remote and marginalized communities.

Through discussions with the luminaries of Public health and IT sector, and with the involvement of the local government health authorities, a multi-level partnership plan was agreed: to implement the Tulsi Tele-health care initiative, collaborating with a leading tele-health pioneer.

Thus, with support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and solid partnerships forged at community level as well as at the technology level, Village Ways Charitable Trust, is now poised to implement the Tulsi Tele-health Care Project in these remote hill villages. The pilot project aims to bring in solutions from all quarters to help heal the ailing primary health care system in marginalised valleys. Training of the local young people as Health Assistants is already underway and they are expected to be certified as Front Line Workers by end of August 2019, which will enable them to deliver primary care using a software-enabled tablet connected to a back-end team of doctors consulting from remote locations. The Trust is currently working on identifying the team of doctors and medicine suppliers in the area in addition to identifying points of health care at the village level. The aim is to have the project in place in six months and for it to be integrated into the existing public health infrastructure in three years, to ensure that the efforts sustain beyond the project period and continue to benefit the communities.

With thanks to Dr Tejaswi Balasundaram, the Village Ways Charitable Trust project head. She is a Dental Surgeon with post-graduation in Public Health with over five years of experience in maternal and child health, preventative health care, WASH and school health programmes. You can read more about this here

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