Traditional Healer Association, Chhattisgarh
In a region plagued by hunger and malnutrition, poor water and hygiene, and high communicable disease rates, the Traditional Healer Association, Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur (THAC) is taking an inventive approach to reducing infantmortality, improving maternal health, and facilitating local access to medical care. The association empowers ‘village botanists’ to serve as agents of positive community-level change by showing them how to use traditional medicinal plants to meet modern medical needs. Work also focuses on attaining formal scientific certification for traditional medicines that are proving effective to treat fever, colds, arthritis, malaria, gastrointestinal diseases and a range of public health concerns. Health services are provided to more than 50,000 families across 500 villages in 12 districts, and the average medical costs in the communities served has been reduced by 70 percent. More than one million trees and half a million medicinal seedlings have been planted in 100 villages, restoring rare and threatened flora and fauna, and improving local health and livelihoods in the process.
Equator Prize Winner: 2014
Location: Chhattisgarh State, India
Beneficiaries: 200,000 patients across 12 districts in
Area of Focus: Conservation, traditional medicinal plant
use, and public health
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