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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Addressing human rights through community-based primary health care: Expanding the Jamkhed model to indigenous communities in India

Connie Gates, MPH1, Ketan Sudhakar Chitnis, PhD2, Raj Arole, MBBS, MPH3, Kamble Ratna, MA3, and Chandrabai Khade, VHW3. (1) Jamkhed International Foundation, PO Box 291, Carrboro, NC 27510, 919-270-5977, jif@jamkhed.org, (2) School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, 211 Journalism Bldg, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, (3) Comprehensive Rural Health Project, PO Jamkhed, Dist. Ahmednagar, Jamkhed, 413 201, India

Tribal (indigenous) communities in India continue to report troubling health indicators, as the communities continue to live on the margins of the society. Government programs without outreach and community mobilization do not reach most tribal population. Started in 1991, Jamkhed's project covers 30 villages with a 50,000 population in the hilly tribal region of Bhandardara, Maharashtra. Jamkhed's model of community-based primary health care steeped in a human rights approach builds capacity of poor communities, especially women, to assess their problems, analyze causes, and develop their own appropriate actions, mobilizing local resources and networking with other programs. Village Health Workers (VHWs), women selected by their communities, trained by experts, actively share their knowledge and skills, and motivate changes in values in their villages. Community groups are organized for learning and action. Through caring, sharing and respecting individuals, communities develop and empowered women provide leadership. We explain the process through which women in Bhandardara were trained to become health workers by staff and VHWs from Jamkhed. How communities were organized to use the referral medical care provided at a nearby government clinic and a medical college. And how people are empowered to addressed common health problems and improve their economic and social well-being. While organizing communities for change, traditional remedies and foods are encouraged and integrated into the development process. Health status is monitored using periodic surveys conducted by community and staff. Project is now expanding to other tribal areas, especially in partnership with the state government.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Development, Indigenous Populations

Related Web page: www.jamkhed.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Thirty-Five Years of Community-Based Primary Health Care - The Jamkhed Experience

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA