Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health

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Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health

SEARCH was founded in 1986 in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district with the vision of “arogya swaraj” – empowering people to take care of their own health. The organisation provides quality, affordable healthcare to the rural and tribal people of Gadchiroli, empowers marginalised populations and conducts research to shape local, national and global health policies. It operates in over 134 villages in the district, where it has developed a bond of deep trust with the community. It works with the people to find locally-relevant solutions to rural health problems.

The four pillars of SEARCH’s work are to prevent and treat people’s health problems, to impart education on health, to conduct original research and to shape policies that disseminate the SEARCH methods.

Over the years, among many other initiatives, SEARCH has set up a tribal-friendly hospital for Gadchiroli’s Gond community, empowered women health workers in villages to provide home-based maternal, newborn and  child care, conducted research on chronic non-communicable diseases, and designed the successful Tarunyabhan programme for educating adolescents and parents on sexual and reproductive health.

The project supported by MFE: 

Capacity-building for senior-level leadership human resources at SEARCH, for sustaining healthcare and research in Gadchiroli

As is evident from the title of this five-year project, SEARCH aims to strengthen its organisation at the foundational level by building the capacity of its human resources – the people essential to running its programmes. The primary goal of the project, therefore, is to expand its senior-level leadership from a staff of five full-time professionals to ten.

The second objective is to expand SEARCH’s community reach to more than one lakh people in 200 villages, conduct and write 10 research papers and 20 manuscripts, and establish 10 institutional partnerships with national and international universities, like the John Hopkins School of Public Health, Ashoka University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

All of this is meant to help SEARCH achieve a variety of five-year outcomes on the ground. For instance, it aims to provide 50,000 patients with speciality services like psychiatry, early diagnosis of cancer, paediatrics, pain management, internal medicine, ophthalmology and more. It wants to provide at least 100 volunteering opportunities for medical and public health students as well as social development professionals.

SEARCH also aims to conduct training workshops for at least 250 public health and social sector professionals. This includes workshops on public health practice, programme management, and setting up of demographic surveillance systems for measuring the impact of NGO and CSR work.