As a response to the various health care and basic education problems in rural Tibetan communities, the Tibetan Healing Fund, with the guidance of Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, created a new strategy called the Three-Level Approach. This approach was designed to improve the health care and education system at the county, community, and family levels in order to deliver appropriate and comprehensive services to the entire population, particularly women and children.
This strategy is the guideline and backbone to Tibetan Healing Fund both health and education projects. For example, the healthcare system is complex, with various levels from the village to the provincial level of health services and referral systems. The objective of this new strategy is to improve the quality of health care services by including culturally appropriate, locally available, accessible, and affordable services for all. We want to concentrate on the community and family levels because the purpose of this plan is to improve the health care system for rural Tibetan areas.
According to the current healthcare system and education infrastructure in Tibetan regions, health care and primary education relatively is comprehensive and it is almost available at all levels. Yet the problem is obvious: health care, for instance, most health facilities are concentrated above the county level or higher level, but most of the Tibetan population lives in rural areas. This is the main problem that needs to be addressed by implementing maternal health programs mainly focused at the township and village levels.
Therefore, in order to address maternal health in Tibetan areas, the program needs several objectives to respond to each level of the current healthcare system. Education, for instance, teachers do not have enough teaching skills and knowledge due to their education system, families are poor and do not have ability to send their children to schools, schools are far from villages, lack of study materials relevant to the local life skill, culture and customs.
To expand health care and education activities and improve current health and education facilities at the village, township and county levels via implementing programs such as health education, training health care personnel, equipping and strengthening health facility management, teacher training, establishment of children’s study materials, and support children from disadvantaged families.
These program activities will empower women and men in families and communities, so they will know what to do and where to go when they face health problems. There will be more health facilities, and these health facilities will be accessible at the village and township levels. Meantime, these program activities empower local Tibetan teachers at village, township and county levels to be knowledgeable, skillful and confidence in their teaching in order to have a stable basic education system throughout the country. Meantime, support local families to insure the children to complete at least primary level education.
This new system of health care and education with change the current health care services and education system in order to have accessible structure at the village, township, and county level for the children in Tibetan.
Specific activities are: