MGIMS strongly believes that the if medical graduates spend their time in the classrooms, laboratories, hospital, hostel or library for merely acquiring knowledge or honing their skills for learning sophisticated technologies, they might fall short of the objective: to recognise and adapt to people's evolving needs. Dr Sushila Nayar, the founder of the institute, always felt that the medical education and training in a hospital must be designed such that it positively impacts on peoples' health status.
To do so, medical graduates must understand the social context, identify health challenges and create relationships with the community. The doctors must know the roles they will be playing in the community and what competencies they must acquire to meet these objectives. MGIMS is also aware that it must design appropriate research that is feasible, interesting, novel ethical and relevant to the needs of the community it is serving. It must ask the doctors to design interventions that appropriately address the felt and unvoiced concerns of the people. Also, the managers of the school and the hospital need to steer the institution towards a high level of excellence, which national authorities such as National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) need to recognise and assess. MGIMS is conscious of the fact that social accountability is an important value, but equally - if not more - important, is the ultimate approval of the achievements of the school, hospital and its graduates by the society.
MGIMS sensitizes medical students to the issues related to healthcare in resource limited settings; Kasturba Hospital ensures that patients are able to access affordable care. Because medical students visit villages every month and soon become friends, philosophers and guides to the families they are assigned, this long association fosters in them deep respect for ethical values in healthcare. “Although I left MGIMS long back, and am practising privately in a big city, I have never lost sight of the values that I learnt at MGIMS; they continue to shape the doctor-patient relationship and my approach to the patients I serve,” said one of the MGIMS almunus who is a highly successful cardiac surgeon.
MGIMS has initiated and implemented Community based programs that not only bring medicine at the doorstep of a villager, but more importantly, empowers them to access healthcare with confidence and courage that they previously lacked. The department of Community Medicine has adopted three primary health centers and has developed a model of decentralized healthcare delivery at village level through community based organizations and and Panchayati raj institutions. Hundreds of self groups, kisan vikas manch, and Kishori Panchayats have greatly influenced the understanding of health and sickness among villagers. Comprehensive sex education in schools and for school-aged youth is an important way along with parental guidance to help young people lead sexually healthy and responsible lives. A comprehensive sex education that covers all physical, psychological, physiological and social issues helps the rural people live a secured life and shatters several myths that are typically associated with sex.
The health insurance scheme of the hospital seeks to create consciousness in the community. About 70,000 villagers are insured every year- an intervention that makes the already subsidized healthcare at Sevagram more affordable.The moral and social upliftment of villagers in Sevagram that had its roots from the initiation and success of a micro health insurance scheme first introduced to ensure uniform health care to the poor and needy in a village. With its increasing acceptance across more villages, the scheme was extended to cover income generation programmes as well as women's self-help groups addressing the village as one social unit for development. At the next stage, the health insurance scheme moved towards action-oriented individuals who could play leadership roles in the community. This empowerment and leadership conferred on select individuals helped initiate the anti-liquor movement in the villages around Sevagram.
The very presence of senior professors of the institute in the villages around Sevagram has been a great factor in bonding MGIMS with the villagers. These professors have shown that people's participation in health care is a myth and the human development requires transcending beyond the tubular vision of health care led to the holistic perspective. We need to identify the felt needs and unvoiced concerns of the villagers and if we address them successfully, not only do we contribute to the growth and prosperity in the village but also substantially improve the health outcomes in the community. Self help groups of women in the villages around Sevagram have introduced such constructive programmes as self-reliance in clothing, agriculture and financial matters.
Every 90 seconds one woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth, with rural women living in resource-poor countries particularly vulnerable. Poor, rural women are the least likely to have access to family planning and the most likely to deliver without a skilled birth attendant. In villages with high maternal mortality, access to quality and affordable medical care is in short supply, thus leaving most of the women to rely on the help of existing community members such as traditional birth attendants, and others. The department of Obstetrics and Gynecology initiated community-based interventions that can be implemented at home, via community health workers , or delivered by the lowest level cadre of the health care system. The direct causes of maternal mortality - postpartum hemorrhage, unsafe abortion, and eclampsia have been successfully addressed in villages around Sevagram with a substantial reduction in maternal mortality.
Cataract is the most significant cause of bilateral blindness in India- responsible for a little above half the bilaterally blind in the country. Ophthalmologists from MGIMS conduct screening eye camps in villages around Wardha district and target people aged 50 and beyond. The healthcare workers do a door- to- door survey to screen people for cataracts and operable blindness. In 2014, our ophthalmologists tested the visual acuity of about 65,000 pair of eyes in 900 villages around Wardha and performed close to 7000 cataract surgeries. Till now, about 47,000 patients have undergone cataract surgery at Kasturba hospital. Individuals who needed a cataract surgery were motivated, and were operated a free service that included transport, food, operation, drugs, intra-ocular lenses and spectacles.
In 2012, MGIMS was awarded “A” Grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for its excellence in education, healthcare, research, social accountability and community services.