This Month In Focus

Educational Initiatives of Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA),Christian Medical College

“Training towards a better rural health care delivery system in India since 1977”

A dedicated partner of the CMC’s mission to develop compassionate, professionally excellent, ethically sound individuals who will go out as servant-leaders of health teams and healing communitiesthrough education and training

Ida Sophia Scudder’s story- and therefore CMC’s- begins with her surname, a name, which at one point in her life, she would have readily disowned.

Over the years, RUHSA has steadily grown into a model that showcases strategies to improve rural health in India and other low resource settings.

118 years old CMC, Vellore, South India, one of the top medical colleges with a five-star rating by the National Accreditation Council & University Grants Commission, attending to 2.5 million patient visits annually has been running 19 post-graduate level programmes offered as MD/MS , 22 Higher Specialty programmes at the DM and MCh levels , 11 PG Diploma programmes, 5 MSc programmes, 6 Post-Graduate Fellowship programmes, and around 43 post-doctoral fellowship programmes and a wide range of about 40 Allied Health Sciences programmes . Yet these regular training programmes of CMC were not in themselves sufficient to answer today’s health care challenges in India, whose roots run deep into every aspect of human life including rural poverty, lack of education, rising non-communicable diseases, harmful health behaviors, poor community awareness regarding health, poor access to health care, high unemployment rates among rural youth, failing agriculture and many others. Towards these problems confronting the health system, ‘RUHSA initiative’ of CMC, from its inception in 1977,has put together short and long term training programmes and educationalworkshops for health care professionals and mid-level health care providers who could join hands with physicians to address some of the health, social, and cultural barriers that impact rural health. The role of Mid-Level Providers has been progressively expanding and receiving attention, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, as a strategy to overcome health workforce challenges and improve access to essential health services. They have the potential to improve distribution of health workers and enhance equitable access to health services, while retaining high quality standards.