In research, the most important thing is to ask the right questions.
There is currently little evidence regarding the burden of various illnesses in rural areas, especially for those diseases that predominantly affect the poor. Since its beginning, Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) has mandated the establishment of a strong research base with the goal to undertake policy and programme relevant research that will advance public health goals in prioritized areas. JSS endeavours to support and encourage scientific curiosity and freedom of inquiry for public health professionals, staff, and students to the end that they may responsibly pursue these goals through teaching, training, research, discussion, and publications.
JSS has a multidisciplinary team with medical and non-medical backgrounds (management, psychology, statistics and social work), who specialize in technical areas such as health systems and financing, policy analysis, epidemiology, clinical research, nutrition, biostatistics, and demography. JSS researchers study a wide range of pertinent issues, including but not limited to adolescent health, equity issues, community-based initiatives, women’s empowerment, mental health and oral health. Demographic, nutritional and disease related information are systematically recorded on a regular basis with the help of Electronic Medical Record system for use in the hospital as well as for the patients in the community.
Currently, there are more than a 15 faculties and research staff (10 coordinators) working on multiple projects of public health concern. Many of our research projects aim to better understand the burden of specific illnesses among our patient population. How widespread is leprosy, rheumatic heart disease, or cancer in rural Chhattisgarh? What groups of people are such diseases affecting and why? We combine epidemiological methods with an emphasis on understanding the social context behind our findings of incidence and prevalence. We also aim to determine and develop best treatment practices for our patients. What treatment regimens are most effective for patients with tuberculosis? For various forms of cancer? Again, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to our research, drawing from microbiology, epidemiology, and clinical medicine. Our ultimate aim is to use the findings of our research to effect best practices and to bring awareness and change to the policy level.