Comprehensive Rural Health Project - Jamkhed

Founded in 1970 by Drs Raj and Mabelle Arole, the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), Jamkhed, Maharashtra, works to improve health especially among poor and marginalized, covering a catchment area of 500,000 population. Its foundational principles are equity, integration and empowerment.

CRHP facilitates building community and villagers’ capacity to address their own problems, including the underlying causes/determinants of health in a multisectoral approach, which leads to sustainable process and impact on health and well-being.

Pioneering this comprehensive, innovative approach, CRHP has been a national and global leader, including recognized by WHO and UNICEF and receiving the Magsaysay Award.

The Jamkhed Model is a health system with three interrelated components: village development, mobile health team, health center (training, medical care).

Other CRHP programs respond to community needs, e.g. preschool for slum children, artificial legs for amputees, demonstration farm for dryland agriculture, rehabilitation center for women victims of domestic violence, abandonment or stigmatized diseases.

The impact on health indicators is significant. Since maternal & child health and communicable diseases are under control by the villagers, their health focus now is on non-communicable diseases (especially hypertension, diabetes) and mental health.

The Jamkhed International Institute for Training & Research in Sustainable Community Health & Development was established in 1992 because of national and global interest in learning about/from its innovative approach. To date, more than 3,000 persons from over 100 countries and 30,000 persons throughout India have benefited. They include grassroots workers, doctors, nurses, project managers, policy makers from governments and NGOs/FBOs and faculty and students from academic institutions of various disciplines.

Future plans include strengthen 10 model villages, further develop farm, design more courses and put some on-line, establish more partners (national, international).