I have to say that always reporting or blogging about bad news and sad stories tends to wear on me. As a commentator and blogger it’s a rare day when unimaginably good news arrives from a most unlikely place. Meg and I set off to meet the Founder Dr. Rajinder Singh Tonk, and his two colleagues Dr. Monika Puri and Dr. Aloka Singh in Boston for a sit down meet and greet. We were not prepared for just how remarkable this coffee chat would be.
What is Chaupal India? Founded in 2007, Dr. Singh Tonk had one simple mission in mind: Finding a viable solution for the total lack of access to quality health care in rural communities in India. You may imagine a lone practitioner setting up a small practice and reaching out to a small group of people. But Chaupal India had something much bigger, and much better in mind: Mobile Medical Communities.
Chaupal employs 20 physicians with diverse specialties like eye care, cardiology, dermatology, gynecology, psychology, and dental care to name a few. These dedicated professionals have reached over 600,000 people to date. I doubt many small non profits can say the same!
So how do they do it? It’s genius really. They have mobile camps that move locations based on need. Typically they will establish one main facility, usually a school, and operate with that serving as a headquarters. Physicians will then set up smaller portable camps in order to maximize volume capabilities. “Chaupal's impact and success achieved lies in its effective and efficient screening process. It has devised the concept of a multi-disciplinary screening approach for early detection of diseases and treating them in one location in the health camps. The same camp held at a village playground or school can detect cancer , diseases of the heart, lungs, joints and even mental health problems in the village setting by providing specialist attention to the visiting villagers. Treatment is provided at the village site for minor ailments and follow-ups are conducted at the health center and subsequent camps for chronic disease processes.” Over 400 rural villages have been touched as a result. Is this amazing? You bet it is.
Imagine what could be accomplished if this innovative model catches fire in other countries. It's effective, affordable, and changing lives daily for the better. To learn more about Dr.'s Tonk, Singh, and Puri please visit them online at http://chaupalindia.org/