Twenty-six year-old Rinku has been bleeding for days. It is a thick, persistent and painful blood that terrifies this mother of four. So she did what many village women in rural India do when health problems reach a certain level of severity; she made the multi-hour trip to a private hospital in the district town of Muzzafarpur hoping for high-quality, if expensive, healthcare.
India is administratively organized into state towns, district towns, block marketplaces, and then villages. Healthcare, as such, is distributed along that supply chain with each level of infrastructure offering a lower standard of care. Rinku's home state of Bihar in northeast India may be the country's fastest growing region, but 85 percent of its 100 million residents live in rural areas and therefore have only immediate access to healthcare at the bottom end of that chain.