The focus of our health programme, initiated in 1991 is to enable the most deprived sections in the community to access and demand health services. MASUM is the district nodal agency for Community Based Monitoring (CBM) of public health services, under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) programme of the Government of India. MASUM has also been active in the Right to Health movement in India since its inception.
Womenís health issues donít get the necessary priority within the household; thus the emphasis of MASUMís health programme is to empower women to speak out and negotiate their health needs and rights in the private as well as the public domains. Early diagnosis of illnesses, especially gynaecological, is imperative to accessing timely health care. Our village health workers (Sadaphulis) encourage self-examination to enable women understand their own bodies and participate in the process of diagnosis and treatment. They conduct whole body, speculum, bimanual and examinations. Detection of reproductive tract infections, cervical cancer (by VIA and Pap smear techniques), uterine prolapse and other gynaecological problems is provided at minimal cost at the village level. Traditional herbal remedies, allopathic drugs under their generic names, and ergonomic exercises are made available on a no-profit, no-loss basis for illnesses that can be treated at the village level. The ultimate focus is to link women to government health services as soon as possible, and to ensure that timely, effective, quality and respectful treatment is made available.