IHO Philosophy

A Villager using an IHO installed pump and deep water well
An integrated, holistic approach to improved health: Since 1992, IHO has advocated, developed and implemented health programs that are closely integrated with rural community development programs.
IHO believes that the serious health problems experienced by disenfranchised people in rural communities derive from and are often perpetuated by their poverty and environmental conditions. As a result, isolated attempts to treat diseases from a health perspective alone or to improve only certain aspects of their health will not be successful over time unless there are parallel improvements in the economic and environmental conditions which perpetuate the cycle of poor health, impoverishment and premature death by preventable diseases.
As a result, while IHO helps people through its public health programs, it simultaneously helps communities by improving their environmental and economic health as well. This philosophy forms the basis of IHO’s integrated and holistic health programs.
Disease prevention through access to local healthcare: IHO does NOT focus upon treatment of diseases; instead, its major emphasis is upon the prevention of disease by increasing access to existing local healthcare. It does this by linking rural communities with health care services that, at the present time, do not reach those communities. This method of disease prevention is successful, as well as cost-effective, because while it is managed by world-class health professionals, it’s staffed “in country” by people familiar with local cultural practices and procedures and makes use of local resources.
IHO serves as a network of physicians, educators, volunteers and public health officials that can rapidly coordinate people and resources to help communities with a high incidence of preventable disease. IHO can coordinate primary health care, program design and management, or in-depth health interventions for at-risk populations with other organizations who want or need these services. IHO’s cost-effectiveness is also attributable to its large pool of volunteers – from board members to village-level healthcare workers.
Details of our successful programs have been continually presented and discussed at several national and international platforms, including annual conferences of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in United States, World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), World AIDS Congress among other global forums beginning from 1992.

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