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Public Lecture -Aarogya Swaraj : In Search of Health Care for the People by Dr. Abhay Bang

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Published on Aug 28, 2014

Dr. Abhay Bang speaks on Aarogya Swaraj : In Search of Health Care for the People, as part of the Azim Premji Public Lecture Series
August 19, 2014

Dr. Abhay Bang grew up in the Sevagram Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi. He was inspired by the social ideals, and trained in India (MD) and at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, (MPH). Along with his wife Dr. Rani Bang, he founded the voluntary organistion, SEARCH, (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health) 25 years ago, in one of the most underdeveloped districts, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra where they have been working with the people in 150 villages to provide community-based health care and conduct research.

They have developed a village health care program which has now become a nationally and internationally famous model. They first brought to the notice of the world that rural women had a large hidden burden of gynaecological diseases. He showed how the pneumonia in children can be managed in villages, and recently, how new-born care can be delivered in villages. Their work has reduced the IMR to 30 in this area. This approach, called the ‘home-based new-born care’ has been now replicated in several countries, has become a national policy in India, and resulted in the global guidelines (WHO/UNICEF – 2009). They have established the famous community health care and research center ‘Shodhagram’ in the tribal area. They also studied the problem of hidden child mortality in Maharashtra and subsequently launched a programme, ‘Ankur’ to reduce child mortality in the State. He is a member of the Mission Steering Group, of the National Rural Health Mission, Govt. of India, and of the National ASHA Mentoring Group, and several national and international committees. Abhay and Rani Bang were recipients of the highest honour of the state government - ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’. The TIME magazine selected him and Rani as the `Global Health Heros’ (2005)

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