SEVAK - HealthCare Project in Rural India

It is projected that India will have 79.4 million individuals with type 2 diabetes in 2030, and rural Indians – 70% of the population are at higher risk.   There is currently no organized delivery of health care in rural India - preventive health care is unavailable in the villages. Clean drinking water is not available to all, sanitation is not adequate and Immunization, though available, do not cover all those who need it. The mission of the SEVAK project is to improve access to care in rural areas of India and the works using local resources.

Sanitation and Health, Education in Village communities through improved Awareness and Knowledge of Prevention and Management of Diseases and Health Promotion”

With the support from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Dr. Thakor Patel conducted a study in rural villages of India to determine the impact living conditions had on the villagers’ health.  The study found

  • 8 % of the population over the age of 35 suffered from diabetes or were pre-diabetic
  • 10.5% suffered from hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Less than 50% of the households visited had in-house toilets
  • Access to clean drinking water was limited

Realizing that the impact on these villagers lives, should they be unable to control their hypertension/diabetes and developed deeper medical issues, Dr. Patel set out to find a long-term solution.  Leveraging his 23 year career with the US Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Patel launched Project SEVAK in 2010.   This project, modeled after the Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) medic program for the US Navy, recruits, trains, and manages a network of local health care workers in remote villages in India – SEVAKS (click here to learn more about the training program).  The SEVAKS screen villager for diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other health issues facing rural villagers in India.  In additional to providing medical screening and education the SEVAKS also educates the villagers on the importance of proper sanitation, clean drinking water, toilets, and lifestyle modification.

Project SEVAK has successfully trained and places SEVAKS in 26 villages in rural India and their goal for 2014/2015 is to double the number of villages and to provide additional services to the villagers, namely

  • Advanced training to current Sevak volunteers to act as certified medical technicians to dispense drugs in statewide pilot
  • To integrate the health care with other health- related projects like Sanitation, clean drinking water etc.
  • To connect villages to cities through  telemedicine and tele- health support by medical experts in large cities and uplift the standards of rural health care to that available in urban centers.

Criteria for a Sevak

The person should meet the following criteria. He/she must live in the village; has a graduate degree if possible but high school level maybe fine. They can continue to work in the farms but must have the willingness to work in their own community. They will be given training in Baroda for three months (lodging & boarding provided). They should be able to read English, need not be proficient.

Active Projects

Villages 26
Household Impact 60,000
SEVAKS Trained 26
Project Cost $71,500 USD total
Project Funding Initial Project through individual donation and support from AAPI 
Ongoing Maintenance supported by Individual/Corporate donations
Donations Required USD $ 71,500/Annually
Method of Sustainability   Individual and Corporate Donations

Planned Projects

Villages 26
Household Impact 60,000
SEVAKS Trained 26
Project Cost $10,000 One Time Set-Up Costs, $71,500 USD Annual Recurring Costs
Project Funding Seeking Donations
Donations Required
USD $ 81,500/1st Year
USD $ 71,500/Year 2 Onward
Method of Sustainability   Individual and Corporate Donations

 

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