The Prerana Women’s Health Initiative has been one of PHRII’s Core Programs s since it began in 2005. The goals of the initiative have always been consistent: providing low-cost, high-quality reproductive health services for low-income women in Mysore and the surrounding villages. The women of Mysore have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity, with more than 12,000 women receiving health care, consultation, medical advice, and preventive services for little or no cost. Our clinical staff includes a nurse, receptionist, administrator, laboratory microbiologist, and two doctors.
We both treat and scan for Cervical Cancer in our clinic and perform cryotherapy for pre-cancerous lesions. We also provide antenatal care and HIV prevention to women in the 144 villages that surround Mysore city. In addition, we train peer educators in the importance of cervical cancer screening, which then spread this vitally important information into their own respective communities. In this way, we have increased the scope of the Prerana Initiative beyond the confines of the clinic walls, in order to most effectively reduce the prevalence of dangerous diseases such as HIV and cervical cancer. By educating women about their own bodies and relevant health issues, we empower them to become their own best advocates and guardians of good health.
The patients who visit our clinic have provided a valuable source of information for many of our ongoing research projects, including our lactobacillus and bacterial vaginosis study, and our analysis of Visualization with Acetic Acid (VIA) as a cervical cancer-screening tool. In this way, the Prerana clinic has truly become an exciting place where research and clinical care come together to create evidence-based healthcare. The lessons we learn in our clinic will be studied and disseminated to other healthcare providers in need of guidance, while the lessons we learn from published research can be applied in the service of women in need. For this reason, The Prerana Women’s Health Initiative and Clinic continues to be one of PHRII‟s flagship projects and most valuable tools.