I am a trustee of the Indian Rural Health Trust, which is a UK charity that raises money for IRHS, the Institute for Rural Health Studies.
This runs an amazing rural health service in Mahbubnagar District near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, S India. It is one of the poorest rural communities in India, and since early 1980s, they have been providing health care almost free of charge to villagers, including referral to city hospitals if required. They now have patient counsellors, health education programmes, and have set up the 1st ever screening programme in India, for cervical cancer. They are always on the look out for volunteers to come and work in the village clinics.
This is an excellent opportunity for:
- medical student electives
- qualified doctors looking to do something different for a while – GP, Infectious diseases, ED, general medicine, surgeons. This would be suitable for anyone with any medical background
I did my medical elective with IRHS in 1992, with no qualified doctor to help me. That situation no longer happens! it was an incredible experience, and my confidence grew hugely. It was perfect before hitting the wards as a qualified doctor. I stayed in touch with Dr Pat Bidinger, the director, and now contribute by being on the board of trustees in UK.
The IRHS philosophy of providing decent health care and health education to a population who otherwise would have no access to health care of any kind is a wonderful one, and the Indian government are now looking are rolling out similar projects elsewhere. If anyone is interested and would like more information on how to volunteer, please go to http://www.ruralhealthindia.org
Many thanks for reading this – please extend the information to anyone you know who might be interested who is not a member of Doctors Club
Dr Heather Harris MBBS FRCS FRCR