Arogya Iyakkam is reported as one of the ten best programmes in the World. This programme was started in May 1999, and is being implemented in roughly 500 villages in 10 blocks in Tamil Nadu. Supported by UNICEF, the programme is executed by the NGO Tamil Nadu Science Forum. The programme has three main aims:
- Improve the use of primary health care services;
- Improve children's health and nutritional status; and
- Organise and empower women around their health needs.
The programme organised village health committees (VHCs), which each
selected a local health activist. These voluntary health activists were
trained together, and more intensively in the field, in talking to mothers
about nutrition and diseases, and to pregnant women about nutrition,
delivery, breast-feeding and other health matters. The VHCs also met to read and discuss health books, and helped the health activist to promote nutrition and health education.