The India Health Initiative (IHI) was born out of a volunteer trip made by two UWO students in the summer of 2003. They researched and volunteered at an organization called Amar Seva Sangam (ASSA), which is dedicated to providing rehabilitation and education for the disabled in rural India. The students felt that follow-up was required, and wanted to see continued improvement in programs for the disabled in India. Hence, they formed the IHI whereby future health care professionals would be sponsored to go into India yearly to work with such non-government organizations (NGO’s) to make differences in the lives of the under-privileged.
Our mission is to provide medical and social services to the people of India and to model well rounded, culturally sensitive health care professionals for the future.
Now, each year the IHI sends a team of 3-5 medical, dentistry, nursing, and occupational therapy students to various sites in India.The India Health Initiative has two chief mandates: Education and service.
IHI aims to encourage the education of well-rounded health care professionals for the future by providing opportunities for the development of clinical, research, teaching and communication skills in various cultural and socio-economic settings, and by exposing students to complex public health issues, the healthcare systems and the ailments experienced by the inhabitants of an extremely diverse and developing country.
IHI tries to contribute to healthcare and health promotion in India by assisting the efforts of organizations working in this field. This is done by:
- Developing and fostering relationships and projects with key individuals and organizations
- Developing and gathering educational materials
- Collecting medical supplies, equipment and monetary donations for these organizations, and
- Increasing awareness of India's culture and the problems faced by its people at the University of Western Ontario and the local Canadian community.