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Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH), Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

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Activity
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    Demographic Surveillance System (DSS)
  • » Home-based Newborn Care (HBNC)
  • » Tribal health and education
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    Tobacco and alcohol prevention and deaddiction
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Public Health Areas
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  • » Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
  • » Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • » Communicable diseases
  • » Nutrition
  • » BCC/IEC
  • » Neonatal Health
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    Adolescent sexual and reproductive health
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Organizational Overview
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Legal Status

Non-Government Organisation (NGO)

Year Launched

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1985

Stage

Well established, with plans for greater expansion

Income level of target population

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Bottom 20%

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Summary
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SEARCH was founded in Gadchiroli district in 1986. It is inspired by the social philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Its founders, Dr Abhay Bang and Dr Rani Bang, received their medical training in India and their public health training at Johns Hopkins University.

The organization’s three missions are; i) providing health care to local populations, ii) training and education in health, and iii) research to help shape health policies.

SEARCH emphasizes that field research should be conducted with the full participation of local communities. Its Community Health Action and Research Approach highlights the importance of living close to, and listening carefully to the health concerns of local communities. Research and solution building activities should then be structured around central health concerns as voiced by community members themselves. Solutions to health problems are tested through rigorous field-based trials, and then published for scrutiny by the scientific community and policy makers.

SEARCH conducted a field trial in Gadchiroli on home-based neonatal care from 1993 to 1998. SEARCH trained village health workers to make home visits and manage birth asphyxia, premature birth or low birthweight, hypothermia, breast-feeding problems, in addition to diagnosing and treating neonatal sepsis (septicaemia, meningitis & pneumonia). 39 Intervention and 47 control villages were selected in Gadchiroli district, with the study results demonstrating that SEARCH’s home-based newborn care (HBNC) approach reduced neonatal and infant mortality by nearly 50%.

SEARCH maintains a comprehensive Demographic Surveillance system in Gadchiroli, which records all births, deaths, migrations (in and out), and marriages in the area. Its activities have now expanded into the areas of non-communicable diseases, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health...

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Target Geography
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  • » Rural, Tribal
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Demographic Profile
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  • » Entire Population
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Primary Funding Agencies
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Foreign Donors, Indian Government, Indian Private Sector & Indian NGO/Civil Society
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Scale
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Number of Publications (2000-2011)
  • » National Journals: 5
  • » International Journals: 29
Non-Technical Staff

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11-20

Technical Staff

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>20

Study Population

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89,000

Replication
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Ankur Study (2001-2005): The replication study was conducted in a population of 88,311 distributed in about 100 villages and hamlets and 6 urban slums in 7 different regions in the state of Maharashtra, India. The field implementation was under the supervision of SEARCH through 7 different NGOs.
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“Home-based Management of Young Infants” project: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched another study in 5 locations around India (Udaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Wardha, Cuttak) replicating HBNC through Government systems
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