Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

EKAVI GoK PHC Adoption working with Padmashree Dr. H. Sudarshan

EKAVI GoK PHC Adoption working with Padmashree Dr. H. Sudarshan

EKAVI GOK PHC Adoption Program Committee.  EKAVI is working with Padmasri Dr. H. Sudarshan in this regard. EKAVI is promoting this concept to Kannadigas all around the world.

Innovations in Primary Health Care by Padmashree Dr. H. Sudarshan

Healthcare Delivery-
Limited reach of healthcare infrastructure- Adopt market-based models as a scaling-up strategy.

The main issue being addressed is primary health care. Only up to 20 % of rural people have access to quality health care that is available 24 hours, accessible and affordable. The sheer size and extent of the Government health care infrastructure make it the most effective delivery mechanism for primary health care. Moreover, partnering with the Government and taking over the complete management of non-performing and remote primary health centres in tribal areas is the basis for this model. The main beneficiaries are rural people. The goal is to provide quality primary health care – curative, preventie, promotive and rehabilitative aspects along with innovations in primary care. Karuna Trust runs 28 PHCs in almost all districts of Karnataka and 9 PHCs in 9 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. All the PHCs in Arunachal are extremely remote and many of them get cut off during various months of the year.

One apparently small difference that has caused a significant increase in utilization of services is 24 hour PHC and availability of all staff at the Headquarters. This is important because, invariably, doctors in many PHCs attend more like visiting doctors rather than team leaders.
The innovations implemented through our PHCs are:

1) Community Health Insurance: A unique, community-based health insurance policy with compensation for wage loss and immediate claim settlement with a low premium rate of Rs. 20/person/annum and no-disease exclusion. This is being implemented in all the PHCs in Karnataka.

2) Mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS in primary care and provision of PHC-VCTCs

3) PHCs are now operating as Village Resource Centres in collaboration with ISRO with Telemedicine, Tele-agriculture and farmer advisories, Wasteland & Watershed mapping and management with additional support for capacity-building and monitoring of PHCs

4) Mainstreaming of Traditional Medicine in Primary care with herbal gardens at PHC and sub-centre level, popularization of single herbal remedies for routine illnesses.

5) Integration of mental health care in PHCs
6) Improved community participation with health committees t village and PHC level
7) Health Management Information Systems in all PHCs in collaboration with IIM, Bangalore

8) Provision and management of essential drugs, implementation of standard treatment guidelines and drugs and therapeutics committee in all PHCs

9) PHC waste management systems
10) Effective management, leadership and team building
11) Emergency obstetric care

12) Early detection and prevention of disability.

The model focusses on partnering with the Government. Karuna Trust enters into an MoU with the Government after obtaining clearences from the local leaders and the Zilla Panchayat. The Government staff are withdrawn and we recruit all the staff as per the service guidelines of the Government. The Government pays 75% of the running cost and the rest is to be mobilized by the NGO. Karnataka is one of the first states to begin this scheme for involving NGOs and private medical colleges in running primary health centres. Karuna Trust was the first NGO to be handed over a PHC when in 1996 the Gumballi PHC in CHamarajanagar district was handed over to us after 10 years of work in that area on Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Epilepsy.

The team in Karnataka is headed by a Project Director who is a senior doctor with over 20 years public health experience as a District Health Officer. He is assisted by another medical doctor who is in charge of capacity-building and program implementation. The Arunachal Pradesh team is coordinated by a team of 3 managers headed by a doctor with 2 offices and support staff.

The crux of this initiative is partnership. The strengths of both the GOvernment and NGO sector is called in to achieve a shared objective. Networking with local NGOs in various PHC areas is key to the initiative. In Arunachal Pradesh, Karuna Trust is closely associated with the Ramakrishna Mission which has been working in that state for many years.

The Government of Karnataka pays 75% of the running cost while the remaining 25% is to be the NGOs contribution. This is just the running cost. The cost for innovations, capacity-building and monitoring/supervision is also borne by the NGO. In Arunachal Pradesh, the Government pays 90% of the running cost.

Other sources of funding include funding agencies for particular projects, local MPs/MLAs and other philanthropists who are intrested in the betterment of their local PHCs.

We have shown that the PHCs may be run much more effectively and can be model practicing centres for delivering primary health care and innovations to the rural people, at a cost the community and the Government can afford.

3,50,000 people served.

Acceptance of good NGOs in running primary health centres has increased both among the local leaders and the Government. Increased community participation in health care through participation in PHC and village level health committees Improved performence indicators like decreased maternal and infant mortality rates Improved health seeking behaviour Decreased taboo for mental illnesses

Karuna Trust now has 10 years of experience. Also from 1 PHC in one district of one state, the model is now in place in over 35 PHCs in over 30 districts of 2 states. The model has thus demonstrated replicability, sustainability and scalability. The model may be tried in any developing country.

Scaling Up stage.

Plan to expand to a few more states. The main focus in the next three years is also on consolidating the work in Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh.

Greater encouragement and inculcating a sense of shared achievement in the Government

The initiative was the brainchild of Padmashree Dr. H Sudarshan who began Karuna Trust in 1986 in response to the huge prevalence of leprosy which was as high as 21.4/10000 population. With sustained community based efforts, leprosy was eliminated and the Trust moved on to address felt needs like Tuberculosis, mental illnesses and Epilepsy. 1996 was the landmark in the history of this initiative when the Gumballi PHC in Yelandur Taluk of Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka, one of the most backward districts was handed over to Karuna Trust. Since then, the sucess of this model has resulted in 9 PHCs in Arunachal Pradesh and 28 PHCs in Karnataka now under total management with Karuna Trust. Dr. Sudarshan’s work with the Soliga tribals and in running the rural development work at Karuna Trust ahs been well recognized and he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1996 and the Padmashree in 2000.


November 22, 2007 - Posted by | Primary Healthcare Centers - PHC's


  1. in Phc’s of karnataka do Homoeopathy have a roll to play?
    do the government accept services of HOMOEOPATHIC doctors for the public?

    Comment by Dr. P. Ramakrishna Rao | April 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. I have married for seven yrs but not having any issue so I and my husband thought of adoption of healthy infant can you give us address of any NGO’S operation in Udupi or near by Udupi

    Comment by anu | July 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hello, My name is Dr.Parthasarathy Pobbathi a classmate of Dr.H.Sudharshan. I am an Orthopaedic surgeon live in UK.

    I am trying to get in touch with Dr. Sudharshan. I would like to see if I can help tghe cause which sudharshan is involved in anyway.

    Is it possible to pass on my contact details to sudharshan or can I have sudharshan’s e-mail address so that I can contact him directly.


    Dr.Parthasarathy Pobbathi

    Comment by Dr.Parthasarathy Pobbathi | September 3, 2009 | Reply

    • You can email/contact him through the website of Karuna Trust/VGKK – See vgkk.org or karunatrust.com

      Comment by Prashanth | July 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. Iam Mohammed Yaseen,aged 30 from Shirur in Udupi district, costal place of karnataka.
    I would like to join any NGO team. Could you guide me pls…

    Thank You.
    Mohammed Yaseen (cell 91 8105650262)

    Comment by MOHAMMED YASEEN | June 9, 2010 | Reply

  5. respected sir/madam, i m pursuing my master of public health (epidemiology/maternal &child health).can i join to u,for experience.mob-7204560489

    Comment by dr.ashwin patil | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. Sir i am copleted diploma in health inspector course with good percentage.nw i am searching job in phc or any ngo.so plz tel me that can i apply for job in your ngo.

    Comment by sameera a bepari | November 21, 2014 | Reply

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