The year 2013 has officially come to a close. Before moving full speed into the new year, it is important to reflect back on the successes of the past year. Here are some of the 2013 highlights from the Comprehensive Rural Health Project:
The way that CRHP scales-up is through training; in the past, CRHP has trained NGOs, grassroots health workers, medical and public health students, and international and government workers. This year we had 231 international and 756 domestic trainees come to our campus in Jamkhed to learn about our Jamkhed Model of community-based primary health care, in doing so achieving the vision of health for all. It’s always a pleasure to host trainees: they bring a lot of positive energy and fresh perspectives. As our hospital accountant, Cyrus Lazarus, put it, “You can experience the whole world in one place at CRHP with the international visitors.” One of our current partnerships is with the Sri Lankan government to implement the Jamkhed Model to target noncommunicable diseases. A delegation of 22 grassroot workers came for training we are now ready to begin the implementation of the pilot scheme early this year.
Adolescent Girls Program
The Adolescent Girls Program curriculum was revitalized with a new teaching strategy to make the sessions more interactive and hands-on. The facilitators of the program have undergone training in Whole Child Education theories and program design from a grassroots perspective. The girls have responded enthusiastically to these changes. Last year, India was thrust under the spotlight with the horrific rape cases in Delhi. The cases highlighted the problems of gender equity and served the reinforce the importance of having programs like our Adolescent Girls and Boys Program to help break down negative attitudes towards women.
We have opened up the new Izmir Training Center, created thanks to the support of representatives from the Izmir Expo, from Izmir, Turkey. Classes have already begun in the new classrooms. Construction was completed on the new Joyful Learning Preschool Classroom too. This new classroom will enable us to provide a preschool education to more children from the neighboring slum so that they are better prepared to enter into primary school. Additionally, we opened the CRHP Science Center through the efforts of Dr. Martin Kamela, a Physics professor from Elon University here on a sabbatical. The center will aim to teach students in grades 5-10 in topics of biology, chemistry, physics, and technology, through lessons, discussion, and engaging experiments.
Mobile Phone Technology
CRHP partnered with Dimagi to test the CommCare phone application; it allows for data entry so that health workers can track the health of mothers during their stages of pregnancy. We equipped our Village Health Workers with this technology and they successfully pilot tested it. In the future, we hope to further explore the possibilities of using mobile technology to accomplish our health-related goals.
We held our very first staff retreat that was attended by over 120 of our local staff. This was created for staff to strengthen relationships and put forward their vision for a successful future for CRHP. Over the course of the retreat, staff got to bond through various team-building activities.
So now what does 2014 hold in store for CRHP? On the horizon, CRHP plans to: form more partnerships, revitalize our agricultural programs, build capacity of local teachers for the science center, put a new hospital electronic medical record system in place, and to ramp up trainings to reflect the shift to noncommunicable diseases such as mental illness and hypertension. None of this could be possible without the continued support from our donors and supporters all over the world, along with the tireless work of of staff. From everyone here at CRHP we thank you all and wish you a happy and healthy new year.