By Zeena Johar, President – ICTPH
Evidence based medicine comprises the back-bone of our approach at ICTPH. Working in conjunction with our Thanjavur based partner organization SughaVazhvu Healthcare we envisage to implement our model provisioning healthcare to remote rural populations across two districts touching 3.5 million lives.
Our individual based approach allows us to screen every individual assigned to a Guide (each serving a hamlet-level population of a 1000 individuals). Various technological advances in time and cost effectively capturing data are guiding the instrument assembled for our Guide. As of now our first experiment is evaluating Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) based age-specific forms for screening adult, adolescent, child and infant in her defined catchment. High-scoring individuals defined as being at high-risk are referred up to the village-based Rural Micro Health Centre (RMHC). Our RMHC’s are housed with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment facilitating hematological and biochemical examination within minutes of receiving a patient.
A Complete Blood Count in just 57 seconds with less than 5 minutes of processing time re-instates my faith towards delivering evident quality, prioritizing an individual’s health and time.
Diabetes management is cumbersome for a rural villager who views limited importance in procuring a glucometer, and hence, a rhythmic hyper to hypoglycemic fluctuation seems as a way of life; a mounting deteriorating effect on ones productivity builds the indirect cost associated with the condition. A simple prick test elucidating ones blood glucose level in less than a minute, now allows our local resident to probe his sugar level as he rides his bike across the village.
CVD risk management at primary care entails monitoring three prime risk factors – BP, Cholesterol and Diabetes. Regular lipid profiling for high-risk individuals (in our definition all those who score high on BMI and BP are considered at high-risk for CVD, and are referred to our RMHC for follow-up) along with other parameters will allow not only an informed approach towards evolving one’s lifestyle, but also allow better disease complication management e.g. blood urea and blood creatinine for individuals with diabetes for multiple years to evaluate its effect on kidneys.
One cannot overlook the seemingly high vision related burden with refractive error and cataract ranking the highest. A diagnostic intervention e.g. an ophthalmoscope to a slit-eye camera are pertinent, but we still contemplate the optimal village-based design synthesizing our learnings from players like Aravind Eye Care, Madurai, India and Vision Spring, Hyderabad, India.
Given the enormous diseases burden of infectious diseases along with the potential for cervical cancer screening, microscopy, though a relatively specialized diagnostic intervention holds true potential towards our evidence based approach. Various advances e.g. Bangalore based K-Two Technologies with an innovative built-in intelligence for detecting malaria loaded slides, through high-resolution microscope slide image offers valuable scope.
We value each life we serve; we value their health, their time and their wellbeing and pledge to provide each life we touch with highest standards of care!