Partnering to Improve Health in Rural India
During January 2010, 21 students and two professors made the long journey to Jamkhed, India to participate in a course providing practical application of the principles of sustainable community development and community-based primary health care in a developing country.
Students learned about how to work among the rural poor and marginalized in Indian village communities. In Jamkhed, the World Health Organization awarded “Comprehensive Rural Health Project” (CRHP) uses a multi-tier approach to community health in which village health workers provide the majority of primary health care and health education at the grassroots level, mobile clinics meet village health needs on regular rounds and the CRHP hospital cares for more complicated cases.
Students attended classes, made field visits to rural villages and the CRHP farm, visited the hospital and clinic, and had sessions with village health workers and members of farmers clubs, adolescent girls clubs and the mobile health team. Learning about the role of women in India provided an opportunity to discuss issues of justice and compassion.
An exposure to a Christian NGO in the large city of Pune expanded primary care principles to an urban setting. The group did an overnight trip to the Ellore Caves and the Daulatabad fort in Aurangabad to learn about some of India’s history.
Students had free time in which to shop in Jamkhed about 15 minutes walk from the CHRP compound, play Frisbee with local children and teens and enjoy the wonderful sunshine and balmy temperatures of India in January.