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CMC's Community Health and Development Department completes 50 years

Staff Reporter

Union Finance Minister to inaugurate the golden jubilee celebrations

VELLORE: The 105-year-old Christian Medical College (CMC) Hospital, Vellore established a rural health centre in 1954 much before the Medical Council of India (MCI) recommended the establishment of such centres by medical colleges to train doctors in a rural set-up.

Over the years, the Rural Health Centre expanded its services to cover the entire Kaniyambadi block in Vellore district. By 1980, the services had expanded to the entire 1,11,000 population with a model primary health care programme which included training of community health volunteers and traditional birth attendants and provision of preventive, rehabilitative and curative services at the village level. The Rural Health Centre expanded from six to 30 beds and then to its present state of an 80-bed hospital, demonstrating a model First Referral Unit.

Sulochana Abraham, Head of the Community Health and Development (CHAD) department of the CMC told newspersons here on Thursday that the CHAD programme, working closely with the government and other non-governmental organisations, has demonstrated the principles of primary healthcare, namely, affordability, accessibility, acceptability and community participation, by rendering health care to the communities. It served a total population of about 2.5 lakhs in the Kaniyambadi and Anaicut blocks.

Mobile health clinic

A mobile health clinic covered all the 80 villages in the Kaniyambadi block once every month to provide primary health care to 70 per cent of the people in the community itself.

Only about 15 to 20 per cent, who required secondary care were treated at the CHAD Hospital, while about 3 to 5 per cent are sent to tertiary hospitals such as the CMCH or the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital.

The infant mortality, maternal mortality and birth rates have been brought down considerably in the Kaniyambadi block over the years thanks to the CHAD programme.

P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister, will inaugurate the golden jubilee celebrations of the CHAD and declare open a Rs.1.30-crore Dr.V.Benjamin outpatient block at a function to be held at the Scudder auditorium of the CMC on Saturday.

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