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Ms. Jan Swasthya Sahyog

  • 2017
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development

Registered: August 20, 1996

A group of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) postgraduates and like-minded health professionals who shared a common interest, wanted to change the health and related situation in a region characterized by extreme poverty with no access to the most basic care in rural India. In 1999, they settled down in the eastern part of Madhya Pradesh, in Bilaspurdistrict (now in Chhattisgarh), which predominantly had tribal and backward community. They decided to develop an effective, low-cost, high quality, community-based, health care system; that would be readily accessible to the rural poor and a model for the delivery of care in low-resource settings. Thus, Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) started functioning in 1999, in Ganiyari village. JSS objectives are to:

  • Address the inequality in rural health care with equal focus on preventive measures and health education
  • Provide clinical and community outreach program
  • Adapt problem-based learning process
  • Evolve low cost technology for providing appropriate, rational and low cost health care facilities
  • Provide accessible, affordable, acceptable, quality-oriented, sustainable and credible services
  • Work in the areas of training, research and advocacy
  • Provide knowledge and technical expertise

JSS’s mantra to success is curiosity to find, explore and learn; demystify health care technology and re-cast old ideas and techniques. They designed and developed grassroots technology and the distribution process was decentralized to reach the technology to the poor, through village health worker. Adaptable and diagnostic technologies are introduced to health workers, clinical, community level and public health services.

Some of the products developed for the grass roots users and community health workers comprise diagnostic kits for urinary infections, pneumonia; prevention kit for diarrhea outbreak with detection device for faecal contamination of drinking water; and modular kits for safe delivery and post-natal care of mother and child. A village First Aid kit has around thirty items including bamboo splints for fractures, a peripheral blood smear making slide kit box, an easy to read thermometer and a few disposable injection syringes. Other simplified devices are gel electrophoresis device for detecting sickle cell anaemia, technique for detecting haemoglobin, breath counter, portable stadiometer, spacer device, teaching stethoscope, UV light based steel drum for disinfecting water, interactive voice recorder (IVR) system for the patients residing in the interiors, etc.

The services of Jan Swasthya Sahyog has helped the tribal, migrant labourers, Dalits covering around eighteen lakh people of 3000 villages in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.