Community centric solutions to health and sanitation in rural India.
To educate one person per village (population 1500-2000) in healthcare, sanitation and lifestyle modification education. This individual will screen the village population (including pregnant women) for diabetes, hypertension, chronic diseases, immunization and provide lifestyle modification education. He/she becomes the single point of contact for all healthcare of the villagers by forming liaison with the community health clinic, district hospital and the private practitioner. Having a person who lives in the village and does the Sevak work has an immediate buy in form the villagers.
Thakor G. Patel, MD currently serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Patel is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology and is a Master of the American College of Physicians. Following his training, Dr. Patel joined the US Navy where he served with distinction and received numerous awards for his service of 23 years. On retirement from the Navy, Dr. Patel joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC as the Program Director for Renal Diseases, Diabetes and Oncology where he was instrumental in developing and implementing critical policies on cancer, vascular access for hemodialysis, and hemoglobin A1C standardization. He retired from federal service in March 2016 to devote more time to public health projects in rural India. His current project and passion is devoted to improving health care in the villages of India. To accomplish this, he created the Sevak Project to bring access to care by utilizing the Navy ‘corpsman’ model, similar to the use of physician assistants in the medical office. The selected individuals are trained and supported by the staff of Baroda College in implementing education, screening and health care tracking programs in the assigned village. This project has been in place since June 2010. Sevak Project is now in over 100 villages in four states of India and has now expanded to twelve villages in Guyana. The Sevak Project has now garnered awards from the GOPIO and AAPI organizations for the valuable work being done. The value, worth and merit of the project has been such that WHEELS Global Foundation, USA and Habitat for Humanity India have become partners in putting RO plants (10) and toilets in some of the villages with poor quality water. The Sevak Project is also instrumental in helping special needs patients with blindness, insulin dependent diabetics and those affected with severe disability by improving the quality of life through access to care. A Sanitary Napkin factory is built in a village to manufacture sanitary napkins and sell them at a discount. It will employ 10 women in the village and help improve female hygiene. In another village, a Sewing
Dr. Misra is a Professor in the WVU School of Public Health and MPH Program Coordinator, Social and Behavioral Sciences; she also directs the Public Health Training Center and holds faculty appointment in the WVU Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Misra has a background in nutrition and terminal degree in health services. She is a health disparities researcher with a research focus on diabetes. She has conducted multi-center epidemiological and intervention studies examining prevalence and risk factors for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among multiethnic populations in the US with cross-cultural comparative studies in rural/urban India and Mexico. As a translational researcher she combines public health and clinical models of inquiry to examine factors that contribute to health disparity in underserved populations. As the project co-chairman, she has lead the team in planning, implementation and evaluation of this community-based program to improve access to care, lifestyle behavior and referrals in medically underserved communities. She serves as the SEVAK project evaluator and is primary contact for all request for data related activities and project report.