Visit to KEM Hospital Research Center, Vadu

The SIIP team visited KEM Health and Research Center, located in Vadu (around 40 km from Pune). KEMHRC aims to extend healthcare to rural population through various means and collaborations. It is working in the field of health through various programs including: 1. Shirdi Sai Baba Rural Hospital, 2. Health and demographic surveillance system, 3. Vadu outreach program, 4. Pabal training center and a few others.

At KEMHRC, we met Dr. Juvekar who spoke to us about various aspects of healthcare and the day to day challenges faced by medical practitioners in given rural settings.

Neonatal health

KEMHRC is working towards the reduction of IMR and aims at reducing the rate to 2/1000 live births in coming years. The hospital is also doing a lot of data analysis to understand the various aspects of pediatric health and are also conducting vaccination trials for rotavirus and meningitis. They also have a plan for further vaccination trials for pneumococcal and RSV pneumonia. We spoke in length with Dr. Kawade on the topic of neonatal health who gave us insights on major hurdles and research priorities in this field. One of the major challenges faced at present is the prediction of birth asphyxia. Conventionally it is predicted through the measurement of optical density of amniotic fluid, however collection of the amniotic fluid is major challenge in itself. Also, in case the foetus passes meconium in mother’s womb, chances of survival of the foetus go down drastically. Another frequent cause of respiratory distress at birth is low amount of pulmonary surfactants in the lungs. This requires an artificial delivery of surfactants using the endotracheal tube, better methods are required in this aspect to reduce the IMR by large