The idea for GIAHC was born in 2009, when Dr. Krishnan went on a book tour to India to promote her book HPV Vaccine Controversy: Sex, Cancer, God and Politics. While visiting Kutch, a remote area in the state of Gujarat that runs along the India-Pakistan border, she got the opportunity to talk to several women, some of whom served on the local government. As she was walking out, a woman from the audience came up to her and asked, “You told us about your book and that a young woman in India is dying every 7 minutes from cervical cancer—so, now tell me, what are you going to do about it? When are you going to start a program in my community?” Inspired by her words, Dr. Krishnan returned to the U.S. and with the help of an undergraduate student from Yale, collaborated with local NGOs to start a screening and early treatment program in the area. Thus GIAHC was born in 2010.
The following is a list of projects and partners that we are/have been involved with:
History: The hospital was founded by Ida Sophia Scudder in 1900. Ida Scudder was the daughter of an American missionary couple who were living in India. As a young girl, she was reluctant to follow her parent’s footsteps in missionary work. However, this all changed one evening when three men came to their home requesting medical help for their wives who were in labor but rejected Dr. John Scudder’s professional help because he was a man. Unfortunately, all three women died in labor that night. The incident rocked young Ida. She took this as a sign from God. She went back to America and completed her medical course in 1899 at Cornell University Weill Medical College and came back to India with a "fiery passion to change things." She eventually set up a ministry dedicated to the health needs of the people of India, particularly women, children poor, disabled and the neglected in India.
Thus the Christian Medical College was born in 1900. It opened as a one-bed clinic in Vellore, the forerunner of today’s 1700-bed medical center. In 1909, Scudder started the School of Nursing and in 1918, her fondest dream came true with the opening of a medical school for women, which later admitted men in 1947.
Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) was started responding to the felt need for providing health care services to a most backward rural development block in Vellore district – K.V.Kuppam block by Christian Medical College, Vellore (CMCH). RUHSA directs several programs to advance the health, education, and socio economic status of the community. From its inception RUHSA has believed that a team of professionals are needed from various sectors like medical, sociology and agriculture for holistic development of a community and only doctors in isolation should not be the only professional serving the rural communities. So RUHSA is involved in training various levels of health care professionals to support the system of health care in India.
Population: The K.V Kuppam Block is one of the 20 government administrative blocks that make up the Vellore administrative district in Tamil Nadu and there are 39 panchayats, 89 revenue villages within the block. The total population of K.V Kuppam block is 128,033. It is a 100% rural area. Majority of the block residents follow Hindu religion and about 3% belongs to other religions including Muslims and Christians. Most of the inhabitants in the block live on agriculture and linked occupations. There is a recent trend among young men in the rural areas to migrate to the nearby urban towns and cities to work as laborers or get into alternate professions. Some of the other occupations are weaving, running poultry farms, dairy industry and “Beedi”(country cigarettes) making. The overall literacy rate is 64%. Male literacy rate is 73.4% and Female literacy rate is 57.4%.
GIAHC is working with the department of RUHSA at The Christian Medical College that has extended the cancer screening services to Padhar, Madhya Pradesh. Padhar Hospital is a charitable Christian Mission Hospital registered in Madhya Pradesh. It is situated in Betul district. This district is located on the central highlands of India, in a very rural setting among Tribals named Gonds. Padhar hospital currently serves 75 villages in and around Padhar covering a population of about 80,000 people. Padhar hospital is committed to take the community based cancer screening services to the Padhar block of Betul district.
The GIAHC Young Leaders program provides a global platform for youth advocates to network and exchange knowledge regarding HPV and cervical cancers. For more information, click here. To become a champion/member, click here.
GIAHC AND AMWA have recently launched a cervical cancer prevention education initiative, which targets young girls, boys, women, and men. We have created a toolkit with talking points, a PowerPoint presentation, an interactive game, and a fact sheet. The presentation also includes a short motivating video and empowering words. Organizations interested in leading an event in their community should feel free to contact us.
GIAHC’s Women Saving Women Movement invites women and women’s groups to join them in the global fight against cervical cancer. Please click here for details
Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) is a grassroots collective of rural women in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India.
The primary goal of KMVS is empowerment of women through interventions, which address the issues concerning their lives.
KMVS has worked on public health issues for over twenty years, but the focus on the reproductive and child health program began in 1998 when KMVS first coordinated with Bhojay Sarvoday Trust, an organization committed to provide basic medical facilities to rural Kutch.
The idea for the cervical screening program started when Dr. Krishnan, visited KMVS and the Bhojay Sarvoday Hospital to discuss simple and cost effective methods to diagnose cervical cancer in rural and low resource settings without use of a laboratory. Motivated by the high prevalence of cervical cancer in India, KMVS/Bhojay have launched a cervical cancer prevention program.
IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health (ICTPH) is not-for-profit company that aims to improve the health of the poor population by focusing on designing, developing and delivering innovative solutions in health-care in India and the developing world.
SughaVazhvu is a fully owned subsidiary of IKP Trust and the field implementation partner of ICTPH for their integrated rural healthcare pilot. Located in Tanjore District, Tamil Nadu, SughaVazhvu comprises a team of doctors, nurses and field coordinators who are all dedicated to a common cause and work as a team in trying to make access to healthcare a reality for rural population. SughaVazhvu Healthcare today has a network of seven RMHCs reaching 70,000 rural residents. The design innovation at SughaVazhvu Healthcare has made services such as ophthalmology, basic dental hygiene, cervical screening, along with acute and chronic disease management accessible to underserved rural residents and has paved a way for creation of a sustainable nationwide primary healthcare system.