|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 57
Editorial: A tribute to Dr. Abhay Bang
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||11-Jan-2018|
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Pradnya K. Editorial: A tribute to Dr. Abhay Bang. J Dent Res Rev 2017;4:57
I want to make you aware of an example set by two doctors: How to connect with community and how to work for the community.
(“Research not from the ivory towers. Research not on the people. Research WITH the people.” – Abhay Bang, SEARCH).
Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang were US return. In 1986, they had this question: Where should I start working? They had two options – go to the place where there are problems or go to the place where there are facilities.
They chose the former and reached Gadchiroli (the least developed area of Maharashtra). The 150 villages needed medical care badly. Hence, they established what is called as Shodgram (A Research Village). The aim was to find health problems and possible solutions for it with the philosophy:
- Begin with people
- Knowledge is the lever of change
- Think locally and act globally.
They started with a Tribal Hospital, Annual Health Jatra and People's Health Conference. They initiated a population laboratory where there were no flasks or machines, but people were the apparatus. The main focus was to reduce the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) and infant mortality rate. They initiated training of 39 arogyadoot (barefoot neonatologist). Arogyadoot was an interested female picked up from one village. They were rigorously trained for 36 days to provide home-based neonatal care (HBNC). A grassroot level health organization was initiated called Society for Education Action and Research in Community Health. This organization through its intervention-oriented study trained village women to evaluate babies around the time of their birth and teaching and delivering essential medical care to those in need of care during the 1st month of their life. In about 10 years, the NMR of 62/1000 births had reduced to 26/1000 births, a reduction of 70%.
This further motivated them to initiate the Ankur project which was conducted in 7 experimental sites of Maharashtra, and within 3 years, a similar reduction was achieved. The Ministry of Health, India, introduced HBNC in its 11 5-year plan and also initiated the concept of ASHA workers (800,000) based on HBNC. The UNICEF and UNSAID in 2009 acknowledged the HBNC in its policy guidelines.
The other activities they take up are alcohol and tobacco control, life skill education, research on noncommunicable disease, Nirman, Living University, and mobile medical unit.
Dr. Bang believes that the world is full of problems and it only needs a solution. The self-sustainable approach can help: Go to people, live among them, love them, listen to them, learn from them, begin with what they know, and built upon what they have.
“People power with lever of Science,” when the problem is solved, people will say we have done it.