Rethinking Rural Healthcare
Written By Sahithi Divi ( social entrepreneur , influencer
) and Suren Thiparthi ( orthopaedic surgeon / consultant , social entrepreneur )
Today is the day of research on health metrics along with my partner Dr. Suren who is an orthopaedic surgoen | consultant in Rajahmundry town. While on the steep journeys of different people and ancient skills attached to the current rush of shaking economies, we made a small health survey in a village located in interior delta region of east godavari district. Innovation for rural pockets below the general transport facilities requires a detailed understanding of cultural norms alongside the geo – tropical data.
In a district where 55% of the population resides under the below poverty line , where the government is able to provide health cards to only less than 15 % of them. Healthcare penetration is a continuously improving segment yet with no hope of containment due to the alarmingly increasing need of doctors at the submerged level of the pyramid. There are millions of people who displace with changing seasons jolting for a day’s meal who is not even aware of the guide to find treatment.
Every place , according to its topography and local markets define the nature of chronic hazards caused over the absence of inclusivity, educating of the patient about lifestyle changes and prolonged habits. We asked the village dwellers about the nearest hospital available for them in emergency ? they stated a name which is 25 mins of ghat road away, which is a primary healthcare centre, where there is no 24/7 service support system, where the tele communication is bad , where the street lamps and immediate help / first aid is extremely difficult to reach. This might be the most normal situation in a country of 134 crore people but this is the situation of the farmer who is working 12 months of the year sending us the vegetables we pick from super markets, fisherman who is risking his life to the ocean and tides for livelihood, those women who are making less than a dollar ( <70 INR) a day sewing brooms and bags battling with needle pricked lives and this goes on.
Research about the current population performance with just a handful of people opened us to rethinking the direction of innovation in healthcare at the bottom of the pyramid.
Challenges / Opportunities
- More than half the population is below the poverty line
- More than 50 + % need of government scheme penetration ( data collection )
- Migrant tribes are vulnerable
- Absence affordable private healthcare to poor harms the economic development of a family leading to a fallout
- New markets for affordable merchandise for rural lifestyle / health improvements
- Scope of women / child awareness related initiatives
- Digital technologies operational for rural India
- Economic activities supported by the ancillaries of the healthcare system
- Healthcare obstructed by absence of connectivity in interior rural densely spread clusters.
- Untouched population leaves a scope for diagnostic survey
- Absence of regulated followup for existing patients
Solution is nothing but finding the right problem to solve. On this journey we will continue to update our thoughts on rural healthcare challenges and scope of innovation from our lens to provide a perspective to the existing players in position to make a difference from their respective positions to welcome innovation and collaboration understand the problems better in order to reach the ones in gravity of unreachability. While we are here , we all are given the power to act, although we hail from ultimately diverse conditions and notably unique lives ; we can make an effort to give and grow.
Written by Sahithi Divi and Suren Thiparthi