Following the Alma Ata conference in 1978, the governments of 134 countries, including India, had agreed to intensify their efforts to achieve the goal of “Health for All”. A primary healthcare approach based on the principles of equity, wider coverage, individual and community involvement and inter-sectoral coordination was adapted to provide essential healthcare to people at the grass-root level.
In India, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was designed to provide effective healthcare to the country’s rural population with a focus on 18 states with poor health outcomes (life expectancy, morbidity and mortality) and/or poor healthcare infrastructure. The NRHM achieves this through a range of interventions at the community level and also by addressing other factors such as sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and safe drinking water.
In India, there are gross inequities in the distribution of health facilities with the majority of facilities concentrated in urban areas while in fact, the majority of the population resides in rural areas which do not have access to basic healthcare. Consequently, a large portion of India’s poor end up paying for their healthcare from their own money, spending proportionately more than city dwellers. Almost a quarter of hospitalised Indians fall below the poverty line as hospital expenses consume most of their already meager income. Only about one tenth of India’s population has social insurance, the rest are at the mercy of private insurance companies.
Hemendra Kothari Foundation (HKF) – Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) recognise the gaps in service delivery to remote villages surrounding Protected Areas in India. Biodiversity conservation efforts are strengthened by addressing the basic health needs of people in these difficult-to-reach areas. We endeavour to provide healthcare services which not only help ailing villagers but also help communities reduce the incidence of communicable diseases in their areas.