Necessary Angels

Submitted By Kellie-Prindle
Words: 1587
Pages: 7

Community Health Care at its Best
“Necessary Angels” by Tina Rosenberg is a proficiently written article that uses stories, descriptive language and statistics to portray the devotion of two women shifting the way poorer countries handle rural health care. The article takes us on a journey through the everyday lives of Salve and Sathe, health care workers trained to tend to the basic health and wellness needs of extremely poor communities. The women started their training at the Jamkhed organization, also known as the Comprehensive Rural Health Program (CRHP). This program has made huge strides in rural health care, and before women like Salve and Sathe, people living in rural areas often died of curable diseases such as malaria, leprosy, and tuberculosis. The problem of rural health care is being solved by the CRHP by training women to perform basic health and wellness checks in their own villages. Their abilities surpass those of doctors in many ways. They are more likely to stay in one place, they drive away thoughts of discrimination, they are more deeply concerned with issues that affect their village, they are in a better position to educate people to prevent disease, and they are driven by satisfaction.
The religious practices of villagers in India include a hierarchy of hereditary groups called castes. There are four groups ranging from a higher caste to a lower one and they are ranking systems that determine what type of job a villager will have, and even the type of person they will marry. There is also what is known as the “Untouchables.” The “Untouchables” are not in the caste system and are seen as the lowest social status. A villager is considered an “Untouchable” if they had an unpleasant or polluting job, or if they have survived critical illnesses such as leprosy. The village health care workers of the CRHP are low caste and “Untouchable” women for a few reasons, but one of those reasons is that they are more trusted to stay in one location even after their training. The article written by Rosenberg uses the word “lamented” to describe the need for doctors in the area (54). She also uses highly descriptive phrases like “abysmal conditions” to describe the villages that doctors refuse to occupy (Rosenberg 54). Statistics are another tool used in this article to describe the dire need for health care workers in isolated villages. For example, 80% of health problems in rural areas are related to nutrition and environment (Rosenberg 55). Rosenberg also paints a picture of a strong grey haired woman in a hero like manner that is set with the task of educating in the beginning of this article, and in the end, the sentence, “But tomorrow, they knew, she would come around” describes the staying power of the CRHP worker (Rosenberg 59). Keeping skilled workers in one place is vital to a successful health care system. Doctors and nurses who constantly switch locations pose a danger to villagers because they are not with a patient long enough to properly diagnose certain health issues. Having one skilled worker who knows a person’s medical history and can coordinate the proper care ensures a higher level of safety.
Another reason village health workers are picked from a lower caste is to help dispel discrimination. Discrimination is responsible for a lot of the malnutrition, disease, and neglect. In the “Necessary Angels” article, a woman named Sakubai Gite lost portions of her hands to leprosy when she was a teenager. Because of her deformed hands the CRHP jumped at the opportunity to have her join the village health workers. It is important to the institution to show people that leprosy can be cured and a normal life can be lead. Sakubai is now trusted in her community enough to deliver babies of higher caste women. This is an example of how the author uses stories in her article to better describe the level of discrimination that exists in rural India. In addition to stories, words that