The nation has been suffering from severe health issues in the distant villages. Although the urban landscape has got the opportunity of some standard medical facilities, the villages still resides in darkness! The governments come and go making promises to improve health, but all in vain. This was also the condition of Sittlingi, a village where Eastern and Western Ghats meet. The nearest hospital in this tribal village was 50 kilometre away located in Harur which was deprived of any surgical facilities. This situation takes a turn as the couple Dr. Regi George and gynaecologist Dr. Lalitha George trained from Allepy Medical College decides to settle in there giving up all the comforts and fame in the year 1993.
The early 90s saw a great number of infant death rates and deaths due to lack of medicines, but George and Lalitha had changed the model of this village. They convinced a villager to donate a waste land for establishment of hospital. Initially, starting with thatched roof the hospital had an OPD run by the couple with a lap and mat. It was also transformed into labour room during emergency. They accommodated intelligent villagers who would work along with them to reach out to the people in need of medical amenities. The ‘bare-foot doctors’ along with George and Lalitha convinced the women of the village to attend hospital during delivery. They also taught them provide sufficient nutrition and care to the new-born and the nursing mother. The hospital which started under thatched roof has now 10 beds. The project was named ‘Tribal Health Initiative’. With regular schooling and education the new-born death rates reduced by 50%, birth of under weight babies decreased by 20% and regular check-ups of the pregnant women has increased to 85% from 11% in the last decade. With assistance from 25 staff the hospital now boasts of a turn-out of 12000 patients per year.
This initiative id Mr and Mrs. George is commendable as they are quoted to say “Our aim is impart and integrate basic healthcare knowledge into tribal wisdom so that they can prevent common diseases and easily curable infections and lead a healthy life”.