India

India has a population of about 1.2 billion and is approximately 1/3 the size of the U.S.. 31% of the population is between the ages of 0 - 14. 70% of India's population lives in rural villages where access to safe water and structured sanitation is the exception. The majority of India's rural population does not have access to electricity. The literacy rate is 66% and life expectancy at birth is 64 years. 80% are Hindu and 13% Muslim. While English is often the language of government and higher education, Hindi, Bengali and a very wide variety of languages are commonly used in most other settings and daily life. India is a stable democracy. Fully 1/2 of India's children are underweight and the maternal mortality rate is the second highest in the world. The country is a dramatic contrast where in a few urban settings India enjoys some of the finest health care facilities and providers in the world while in many of its vast rural areas conditions are similar to those of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Partner - Reach-India (http://www.reach-india.net).

This project, in a more remote tribal area, initially involves a household interview survey about health concerns, and the training of ten community health workers. Each of the community health workers in turn works with 20 women's self-help groups (existing and newly organized). They provide health education, referral, health event motivation, and health product distribution. One of the health education activities is an eight lesson series for adolescent girls called “Life Games for Girls,” with these adolescent groups created by the mothers in the self-help groups.

 

Partner - West Bengal Voluntary Health Association (http://www.wbvha.org.in/).

Our partner, with financial support from HWF, constructed an important training facility in the north of the state of West Bengal to focus on improving the now poor status of health workers in the districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling (including parts of the state of Sikkim). Thousands of health, education and social service workers are trained there each year.

 

Partner - Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (http://iicpindia.org/) and Sangam.

We are also collaborating on the development of educational videos for staff and parents on the improved caring of disabled children that will be available through the use of mobile technology. We support and have been collaborating with IICP and the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions on the development of unique educational videos to assist staff parents with improving the toileting and feeding of their disabled children.

 

Partner - Nidan (http://nidan.in/nidanwp/) - WBVHA (http://www.wbvha.org.in/) - FFH (https://www.freedomfromhunger.org/) .

These are ongoing projects that involve the creation and support of a large number of village based womens' savings groups leading then to the creation of access to safe water and a variety of essential public health initiatives such as deworming, hand washing and improved sanitation

 

Partner - Dimagi (http://www.dimagi.com).

This is an important and exciting new direction, involving a set of the above projects. The focus is on expanding the communication, data gathering, health education capabilities of community based health workers.