One hundred villages in India will soon be well equipped with primary healthcare facilities, mobile medical units and telemedicine centers - with the active involvement of Indian American physicians.
"In collaboration with the state governments, we would promote better hygiene, clean drinking water and use of toilets in these villages. Special emphasis would also be given to creating awareness about vector borne diseases and value of education," S. Balasubramanium, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), said here Wednesday.
AAPI Wednesday signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Indian American Council (IAC) to promote development of the healthcare sector in India, with an emphasis on rural areas.
"The first pilot project will be in the Patna district of Bihar. We have collaboration with the Patna Medical College and NTR Medical College in Andhra Pradesh. They would help us in materialising the project," said Balasubramanium adding that more such tie-ups were in the pipeline.
"These villages would also have mobile medical units and their primary healthcare centres will be equipped with telemedicine facilities," he added.
Balasubramanium said AAPI would focus on five major diseases in all these villages.
"Diabetes, cardiovascular problems, deafness among children, carcinoma cervix and carcinoma prostate (both of the cancer family) would have extra attention. These diseases are quite curable but mortalities occur due to the late detection of these diseases.
"We hope our expertise would help these people in rural India to live a longer and productive life. We have decided to address those types of cancer that are easily preventable," he said.
Said Naresh Trehan, chairman of CII's national committee on healthcare and noted cardiologist: "The MoU concretises the thought process of the last few months. It sets out one of the things we can do to leverage the intellectual capital of Indians residing abroad to help India. AAPI has been very forthcoming."
National Knowledge Commission chairman and IAC chief Sam Pitroda said: "We want to institutionalise and streamline the efforts of people of Indian origin. The idea is to bring talent back home.
"We believe there is need to start the process, develop good manuals and make it technology savvy so as to disseminated. It will crystallise and formalise programmes we have discussed over the past few years," he said.
The agreement underlines the need for joint research, implementation of strategies, policy recommendations to the central government and facilitation of meetings.