ARTH was founded by a group of professionals in the field of Community Health in 1997, with a commitment to improve the health status among the under privileged communities in India, focusing on women’s reproductive health. This also includes health service, training and surveillance program in southern Rajasthan. ARTH is a technical resource for organizations, meaning that it does not replace the government medical infrastructure and services and relieving the government of their responsibility. ARTH has been founded to conduct research, training and advocacy to enhance public health care, health care policies and programs.
ARTH operates field health programs which integrate clinic and extension services with culturally appropriate health communication activities. ARTH recognizes the link between behavior and health, and the organization lays emphasis on understanding beliefs, perceptions and values that influence a community’s health-seeking behavior. In addition to the tangible benefit of service to the population, the field program allows ARTH to test innovative ideas, in a manner that is sensitive to prevailing social, economic and gender constraints. To improve access to primary and reproductive health care in a sustainable manner, ARTH invests in the professional development of its staff through training, exposure, and performance assessment.
ARTH’s research area, located in the rural areas of southern Rajasthan on the outskirts of Udaipur city, is characterized by poverty, illiteracy, and a conservative, patriarchal social structure. Despite high fertility and mortality, the largely tribal population of this area has limited access to rational health care.
ARTH’s direct involvement in rural health care and our publication record have lent substantial credibility to ARTH’s advocacy efforts in local, national and international panels and committees. Members of ARTH serve on the governing boards of three district health societies in Rajasthan, on advisory boards of two state NGOs, on technical advisory panels of UNFPA, on the Population Council and Ipas in India as well as on the gender advisory panel of WHO, Geneva.