Acclaimed Health Program Fails to Help Children in India
A widely hailed initiative that combines franchising business models and telemedicine to deliver better quality health care in rural India has failed to improve care for childhood diarrhea and pneumonia, finds a large-scale study by researchers at Duke, Stanford and University College London.
Preventable and treatable illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia claimed the lives of nearly a half million Indian children under age 5 in 2013 alone. In rural areas, health care services typically are provided by unqualified practitioners working in the informal sector, and the quality of care is often poor.
The World Health Partners (WHP) Sky program, funded with grants exceeding $23 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors, aimed to address these problems.
The program sought to train and enroll thousands of informal providers and create a massive network of franchisees to deliver more effective health care in rural areas of Bihar, an Indian state with more than 100 million residents.
- Health Care