Maternal & Child Health
With improvements in living standards, better immunization, nutrition and sanitation, and fewer deaths due to diarrheal diseases, more children are surviving if they make it past the first month of life. However, there has been little improvement in neonatal survival, an issue which is closely linked to maternal health and survival. The Maternal and Child Health program with CFHI is designed to look into these issues through the clinical and preventive care centers in the city of Pune, India.
Participants will have the chance to work with a variety of private and public clinical sites including larger hospitals and smaller clinics. See first-hand how the healthcare system in India that caters to the needs of women and children. They will experience antenatal care, intranatal care and postnatal care facilities and will learn about newborn care, immunization schedules and pediatric care up to age five. Participants can also rotate in family planning clinics, and will have the opportunity to work in clinics that manage sexually transmitted infections and disease.
Become immersed in vibrant Indian culture by living and interacting with locals in Pune. Located in the Sahayadri Hills, a few hours inland from the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, Pune is a fascinating, lively city. This renowned cultural and educational center boasts a live energy and nice year round climate.
Clinical Rotations & Public Health Placements
Pediatric and Obstetric Hospital- Participants will have the opportunity to rotate in both the Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology wards, in either inpatient or outpatient settings. The population served is largely urban and the facility is privately operated. The facility serves approximately 40-50 patients per day on an outpatient basis.
Private Family Medicine Clinic- Owned by a family physician, this private practice sees approximately 40-50 patients per day, and most are from poor or middle class backgrounds. It is an outpatient facility.
Private Clinic catering to children with special needs- Run by a husband and wife team, along with 4-5 assistants. More than 100 babies are examined daily at this clinic. The doctor is an academic and has written many books on pediatric care. His clinic also has facilities for children with mental and physical disabilities. This clinic receives mainly urban patients from educated families with middle and higher middle class. While attending this OPD, students learn aout how to talk to and counsel patients. They will have the opportunity to observe ultrasonography, obstetrics/gynecology, and infertility patients. They can also observe Intrauterine Device Insertion like Copper T, as well as learn about contraceptive advice given to couples.
Multidisciplinary Mid-size Hospital- Multidisciplinary 60-bed with a high volume OB/GYN and pediatric patients from both rural and urban areas, and from all socio economic classes. Many endoscopic surgeries are performed here.
Private Hospital/Nursing Home- This hospital handles more than 2000 deliveries per year. It is a specialty hospital recognized for its DNB/DFP courses. All types of endoscopic surgeries are preformed here routinely along with many other major gynecological surgeries. It has full-fledged IVF facilities getting referred cases from different parts of Maharashtra. The hospital is staffed by 5 consultants with many residents round the clock. CFHI Medical Director, Dr. S M Dabak, teaches the postgraduate students at this hospital.
Private Pediatric Clinic- 80 -100 babies are examined daily in this private clinic. The doctor at this rotation teaches and involves CFHI students very actively. This clinic is attended by rural and urban, educated and uneducated patients from all socio-economic classes.
Private Hospital- Besides shadowing the specialists in the maternity and infertility sections of this hospital, students will often have the opportunity to witness procedures like Endoscopy, Laproscopy, Hysterescopy etc. Special attention is given to high-risk and complicated pregnancy cases. The hospital is equipped with Advanced Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy units. Other facilities include cancer screening & treatment, advanced Infertility unit with Intrauterine Insemination lab, library for patient education, epidural analgesia, immunization for newborns once in a week etc. This is hospital has a O.P.D. of 30-40 patients every day.
Multi-specialty Hospital- A specialty multi-disciplinary hospital built in the memory of renowned Indian classical singer, Late Shri Deenanath Mangeshkar by his daughter Lata Mangeshkar, a famous singer. It has well established OB/GYN Department as well as a NICU where patients from all social strata receive care. This hospital is a recognized post graduate institute for DNB students.
Private Hospital- At this pediatric and obstetric hospital and clinic, participants will have the opportunity to rotate in both Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology in either inpatient or outpatient settings. The population served is largely urban and serves middle to higher middle class. This privately operated facility serves approximately 80 – 100 patients per day on an outpatient basis. It has highly specialized NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit)
Small Pediatric Clinic- Dr. Kanade is a well known pediatrician with his own clinic. He is also affiliated with a number of maternity hospitals. He sees 40-50 patients per day and runs immunization clinic every day.
Health Education NGO- This NGO is involved in preventative and health education activities for the mostly rural population outside of Pune. While the region has a government primary care clinic and a small rural hospital, clinical services are only available every couple of weeks a month. This NGO plays a vital role in raising awareness about prevention of important public health topics. Participants may work with staff to provide health education session about family planning and prevention of STDS, including HIV/AIDS. Participants may also learn about prevention and detection of various communicable diseases such as malaria, dengue, tuberculosis and leprosy.
Other Projects in Pune- There are several physicians in Pune who are involved with various projects. Students may have access to these experts through lectures and possibly clinical rotations. The projects include prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as a program researching safe abortion access.
CFHI is considered a global health ethics leader therefore CFHI programs uphold strict standards and comply with all local laws regarding student involvement in health settings. Your experience on the program depends on your previous clinical training (if applicable), Spanish level, and the relationship you build with your supervising preceptor. Above all, YOU are the most important factor in making the CFHI experience as fulfilling as possible by being respectful, inquisitive, and open to the wide variety of learning experiences which you will encounter.
India is the seventh-largest country in the world and the second-most populous with over 1.2 billion people. There are over 20 languages spoken across India’s twenty-nine states. The country is also the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. India offers a rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse landscape unlike anywhere in the world, as well as breathtaking architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple.
Pune is the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the first, of course, being Mumbai. Pune is well known for its booming automobile industry and its many educational institutions. It is the 7th largest city in India, with a population of 4.5 million. The city is east of Mumbai and on the eastern side of the coastal mountains called the Western Ghats.
Pune has many colleges and universities as well as has a reputation for its several esteemed colleges and educational institutions - the reason why it was called the Oxford of the East (or 'Oxford of India') by India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Pune is also famous as being the home of the spiritual leader Osho Rajneesh. The Osho commune attracts international visitors and is well known for its beautiful Osho and Zen gardens.
Things To Do
CFHI participants have free time during most evenings and weekends and may choose to organize weekend trips to nearby destinations and take part in cultural activities offered within Pune tself.
The city itself offers many sightseeing attractions, such as Pune's heritage walks, which leads you through the city's oldest by-lanes, while an informed guide regales you with stories of an era gone by. On weekends, participants may want to explore the many temples, forts and palaces located throughout the region, including Bhimashankar Templte a revered pilgrimage site, or the Pataleshwar Cave Temple which dates back to the eighth century.
Accommodations & Homestays
Accommodations are provided on a shared basis. In Pune, you will stay in an apartment with all basic housing facilities. The apartment building is close to the local Medical Director's residence. The apartment is an independent house with two rooms for the students, attached bathrooms, and a common dining area behind the rooms with a refrigerator and a microwave. There is no television or WiFi. A caretaker will be there to take care of daily chores and cooking. Adjoining the dining area is the room where the caretaker and his family live. While in the rural area, you will stay in a small 2-room house.
Eligibility: Who Can Apply?
This CFHI program is ideal for students and non-students of all levels and health disciplines and welcome anyone interested in and passionate about global health and medicine. In particular, this program will focus on learning extensively about the drive to improve maternal and child mortality and morbidity through exposure to a wide array of clinical and public health sites. For more information, please read CFHI's general eligibility requirements.
Language Required: English
India is a multicultural and diverse country with over 30 different languages spoken by more than a billion native speakers. English and Hindi are considered the language of government and business and English is widely spoken by most professionals and used frequently in many business and academic settings.
While Marathi is the official and most widely spoken language in Pune, English, Hindi and Kannada are understood and spoken. Pune is one of the cities in India having a majority Hindu population, with 70% Hindus. You will find that daily communication amongst locals and community members will be in Marathi. Nevertheless, all CFHI staff and the local health professionals you'll be interacting can communicate effectively in English and will provide interpretation whenever necesssary.
Participants may either fly to Pune directly or fly into Mumbai. If flying into Mumbai, transportation will be provided by CFHI to Pune. Participants will be met at the airport by a trusted program driver and transported to their accommodations. Orientation typically takes place on the Sunday after arrival.
CFHI Program fees include the majority of your on the ground costs. As a nonprofit, CFHI strives to keep fees low and offers fundraising opportunities, scholarships and discounts. Learn more
- Guidance from CFHI staff in San Francisco before departure
- Program-specific materials with information on making travel arrangements, visa requirements, recommended immunizations, etc.
- Airport pick-up upon arrival in Pune or Mumbai and transportation to accommodations in Pune with local CFHI representative
- Welcome orientation in Pune covering safety, transportation, and other logistics
- Placement and coordination of clinical/public health activities
- Accommodation and two meals a day
- Local transportation to and from clinical sites
- CFHI Local Team: providing instruction, logistical support, and 24/7 emergency response
- Weekly meetings and lectures on local healthcare system and socio-economic determinants of health
- Local cell phone
- International emergency medical and evacuation insurance
- Airport drop-off in Pune or Mumbai
- Access to CFHI alumni-only LinkedIn group featuring news and career opportunities related to Global Health
- CFHI alumni newsletter highlighting events, resources, and ways to stay involved
Uniquely CFHI, 50% or more of student program fees go directly to the communities they will be visiting, benefiting the local economy at large and specifically underserved health systems. Read more.
Hema Pandey-CFHI India Director: The role of the India Director is to coordinate and manage activities for all CFHI programs in India. Since 2005, Hema has been instrumental in establishing CFHI's growing presence in India, developing new program sites and researching CFHI's growth potential in-country. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Commerce from Kurukshetra University and a Postgraduate diploma in Fashion Design from International Institute of Fashion Technology. Her professional interests include rural and urban healthcare, water and sanitation, gender, and social development. She enjoys helping CFHI students achieve academic and personal goals and develop leadership skills during their time in India. During her free time she enjoys photography, travelling with family, volunteering, basketball, and cycling.
Both Mr. & Mrs. Dabak have worked with CFHI since 2007. Mr. Dabak serves as the Medical Director and Mrs. Dabak the Local Coordinator, in tandem with a local caretaker who transports, cooks, and cleans for CFHI participants. They are graduates of B.J.Medical College in Pune, where they both stayed on to work for more than 30 years. They share a passion for teaching and take pride in working with CFHI participants. Since both of their children have emigrated to the U.S., nearly 10 years ago, and established a livelihood, they have a special affinity for the States. In their spare time, they enjoy taking Yoga classes and visiting different places in India, as well as travelling internationally when possible.
What Alumni Say
"I learned so much about the healthcare system. The physicians I spent time with were all very eager to involve me in their work and keep me engaged. One compassionate pediatrician, despite his extremely busy days, would take the time to explain almost every patient to me. This program also has a wonderful focus on the host culture, and I made sure that as a participant to experience as many festivals, sites, and new foods as possible."
-- Meredith Merkeley, April 2014 (Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, MS-4)
“The month I spent in India was without a doubt the highlight of my undergraduate education and I will never forget such a life-changing journey.” Read more about Kevin's experience in his colorful and engaging blog, A Panda in Pune!
-- Kevin Lai, July 2015 (University of Oregon, Pre-Health Undergraduate Student)