Category: India


Stories of Women Impacting Change

Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

March 09, 2017 - India

Rakesh Dhole and Deanna Boulard


From Poor Housewife to Accomplished Government Health Supervisor

Liberating Human Potential

Rekah Mawi is a resident of the Barwani Tribal district of Madhya Pradesh, India. At an early age, she married a daily wage earner named Anil. Rekha soon realized that her husband was an alcoholic, and his meager daily income coupled with his frequent, compulsive spending on alcohol was not enough to support the family. Rekha was specially concerned for the welfare of their two children. On April 1, 2010, Rekha met with Radha Chouhan, the District Coordinator of RMF India’s Barwani…

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Help us give more women and children the chance to realize their potential this holiday season by making a donation to our Giving Tuesday campaign. Every dollar will go directly to the field and give children like Prateek and Savan a chance at a better life.

On Aprll 4th, 2014, RMF’s Khargone District Coordinator, Auntim Gupta, alerted the RMF team about a severe case of malnutrition in Galtar village of Jirnia block, Khargone. RMF’s CNE, Neelofar Mirza, had been working with a family of four for months, and both parents were unwilling to take the…

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At RMF we believe every life deserves the chance to realize its potential. When people are liberated from their fight for survival, they begin creating a better life for themselves and their community.

We believe in the human ability to transform. Our innate capacity to create transcends differences of ethnicity and economic standing. We are human because of our potential to change the world. When we are at our best, we are co-creators.

By empowering the people we are trying to help, we discover visionaries and partners who are best able to solve their…

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The Steady Fight Against Malnutrition – RMF Community Nutrition Educators Work to Improve Health Outcomes by Michael Matheke-Fischer, Country Director, India

Convincing people to adopt healthier behaviors can be a difficult job. In Southwestern Madhya Pradesh, where RMF’s Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) work in 600 villages across 5 districts everyday, targeted health education is crucial to combating malnutrition. For four years, each CNE has patiently worked in communities, identifying children and families in need of counseling, referring serious cases to treatment, and building crucial bonds with the community. Since 2010, our program has…

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Chelsea Hedquist, the Senior Communications Officer at mHealth Alliance, just visited our Malnutrition mHealth Program in Barwani on her tour of India and wrote the following article about the tremendous positive impact that mobile technology can have on health outcomes : Link to article here or read below.  Thanks Chelsea!

21 November 2013

mHealth in Action: CommCare to Support Community Nutrition

By Chelsea Hedquist, Senior Communications Officer, mHealth Alliance.The second stop of my 10-day, 6-city journey across India took me to a village called Barwani, approximately three hours southwest of Indore in the…

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by Michael Matheke-Fischer

Reaching poor communities with health education can be difficult. Often, the families have very low literacy, and even less literacy when is comes to health and nutrition. Although there are many resources available to prevent malnutrition in India, one of the largest challenges our team faces is helping people access these services.

Beginning in 2010, RMF started a massive campaign to help educate communities using our Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) to reach individuals with interpersonal communication and intensive family counseling in their homes. Since 2010, we…

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by Michael Matheke

In August 2012, RMF CNE Santosh Pall found Pooja, a 9 month old girl, in Devigarh village, with a MUAC of 7.9. Picture the circumference of your thumb: that was the size of her upper arm.

Pooja was immediately rushed to the closest Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in the Thandla Hospital. There, she received the care that was required, and slowly began gaining weight. After 16 days in the NRC, she was released for home feeding.

One advantage that Pooja has is that her family…

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by Michael Mattheke

Over the course of the past three years, RMF’s Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) have helped thousands of children recover from malnutrition. Some times these cases are easy to handle: the CNE diagnoses a child, refers them to treatment, and the family agrees to do everything they can to help their child. Often, however, there are too many challenges for these families to overcome to give their child the treatment they require.

Right now in Madhya Pradesh, the only treatment option for children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is a 14 to…

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by Michael Mattheke

Friday, March 8 marked International Women’s Day. Across the world, women stood up and celebrated their right to equality, freedom from fear and domestic inequality and violence, and their own dreams of self-determination and economic security.

Here in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, International Women’s Day was celebrated with a “Mela” (fair) to celebrate the remarkable women of the area, and to highlight the enormous challenges many of them face in their daily lives. RMF’s Barwani team, consisting of 21 of the strongest women I have ever met, were invited to participate…

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By Michael Matheke-Fischer

The following blog was written by Dr. Arvind Virmani, an Indian economist, about malnutrition in India. The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of RMF, however they address many of the challenges our teams face in fighting malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh. The author can be reached via his website:

India’s Problem is Malnutrition Not Food Security: Public Health (not Cereals) is the Solution



Shri Rahul Gandhi has wisely noted that our society pays more attention…

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The following is a blog written by a guest contributor from our program partner in India, Dimagi, Natasha Azad, Field Manager:

My father is from a small, no-name town in desperately underdeveloped central India. Though my father emigrated to the United States over 40 years ago, we still manage to go back to India each year and visit his brothers on their estate in our no-name town. The town has historically only been recognized as the birth place of cinema genius Kishore Kumar or for the massive train junction that is its raison d’etre. More recently, the town and…

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Eamen Hameed of healingPAQ interviews RMF CEO/Founder Dr. Martina Fuchs on her passion, vision, intention, experience, challenges, failures, successes, teachings, western and alternative medicine, service and approach in life.

Follow the link to visit healingPAQ’s website and listen to the interview

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By Dr. Martina C. Fuchs

RMF’s Childhood Malnutrition Eradication Initiative has the largest field presence of any NGO working in malnutrition in the region, a result of strong partnerships with government, NGOs, businesses, and most importantly, local communities. Our team of 60 Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) and 6 District Coordinators is covering enormous ground every week across 5 districts and 600 villages in Madhya Pradesh.  Madhya Pradesh carries India’s highest malnutrition burden, with 60% of its children under 5 malnourished – approximately 6 million children whose futures are at risk.

Amita, one of…

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By: Pratik Phadkule, Program Manager Health and Nutrition

Talking about periods of the human life span, what period do you think is the most difficult? Childhood? ‘Old Age’? Every period of human development comes with its own unique set of challenges and it is very difficult to classify which is the most challenging, but for our work in India, in the last month we decided to focus on adolescence, particularly in girls from our communities, because of the relationship between the challenges faced early in life compounding those faced later.

Not clear? Let…

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RMF India Program Manager – Health and Nutrition Pratik Phadkule writes about his experience with CommCare and the challenges of treating Malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh.

Living in an age of extreme technological advancement certainly is a boon for mankind. This technological advancement has helped us in all the fields – communication, space travel, medicine, and engineering. Most importantly, with the help of this, our lives have become so much easier. I think, on this point, no one would disagree.

There is no question that technology is helping our lives in many ways,…

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RMF India – May 2012

By Michael Matheke-Fischer, Director of Global Programs

Two and a half years ago, I realized I had a large challenge in front of me. In order to complete the first step of our program, a baseline survey in 500 villages to determine the exact malnutrition situation we were dealing with, I was going to have to get creative. Sitting in front of me at the New Delhi train station, in heat of well over 100 degrees, were 500 survey books, over 1 ton of paper.…

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Photo: Dr. Martina C. Fuchs, RMF Founder/CEO, making new friends at the Lwala, Kenya Community Hospital, October 1, 2011

We are so grateful to all our friends, supporters and teams around the world and wish everyone a fantastic 2012!

Having wrapped up another successful  we want to pause and say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who supported our work in 2011.  You have helped us achieve so much, and we give our deep thanks to everyone for your generosity and support!

In 2011 we..

In Japan, post-earthquake and…

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Sonu’s Story Continued

By Michael Matheke-Fischer, Director of Programs, RMF India

Sunday, November 20, 2011 was the first time I met Sonu. To me, he was a picture on a PowerPoint presentation, a picture that continues to shock me today. Sonu came into our program 15 months ago while I was in Delhi working on streamlining our administrative procedures and, more importantly, trying to raise more funds to help children like him. Fundraising and administrative work, while just as vital as the field work we engage in, is an ever present necessity shared by our…

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By Nyamat Bindra, Director, Education, Real Medicine Foundation, India

How to make the children not get bored in the summer? How can I make them enjoy staying at school? What can I make them do that is new, exciting, cost effective and something that the children would learn new skills from? What could it be …. Then it struck me! The one thing that Indians love…. Cricket!

I decided to organize a camp for the boys at school and art class for the girls!

Our school boys would play cricket the minute they…

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Voices From The Field:

First Impressions of RMF India

September 02, 2011 - India

by Marshall Singh

Virgil wrote that fortune favors the bold, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t what he had in mind.

I’ve been in India for a grand total of 36 hours, most of it in transit, and it’s this last leg that is the most terrifying. Flashes of colour and sound as we hurdle down a road with what might generously be called lane markers, drivers in opposite directions flashing their headlights and honking frantically.  There are seat belts in the car, but somewhat incongruously, the ones that actually have clips don’t seem to have anything in…

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by Roma Patel

Real Medicine Foundation Guest Entry I heard about the Real Medicine Foundation and that they would be needing help in Ahmedabad, Gujarat through a friend of a friend. Always looking for any unique volunteer opportunity, I jumped to the occasion. They needed me to assist patients and their families that came to the Civil Hospital, a local government hospital, for advanced medical care. Even though I had vast experience at hospitals in the United States, I had never before been to a hospital at India. I was only vaguely familiar with how healthcare worked…

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In March 2010, Caitlin and I were driving around Khandwa district on a motorcycle desperately searching for staff to begin operations of our ambitious “Eradicate Malnutrition” program. In our heads, we had a checklist of criteria for potential new staff, mostly focusing on education levels and any experience in the health, nutrition, or NGO sector. As we drove from hamlet to hamlet, over dried streambeds and through fallow, dusty farmland, the checklist was whittled down to one item: literate.

In July of 2011, 5 of our amazing CNEs from Khandwa are now on the cutting…

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Monitoring and evaluation is often the most difficult part of any development program.  It’s often an afterthought for implementers, too busy worrying about rolling out the immediate and the tangible to worry about how they’ll evaluate their work at some later stage.

It’s important that data is not something that’s just written down in a grid each month and never seen again.  The strongest programs are the ones in which ground level staff find their reporting useful in their daily work.  By making data helpful to ground level staff it makes their reporting in turn more accurate.

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In recognition of our organization’s Malnutrition Eradication Project in India, we have been nominated as a "Charity of the Year" for the CLASSY Awards , sponsored by StayClassy  organization.  We need your help to vote for our organization so that we can progress from the list of 25 finalists to the final 10!

To vote for us, please visit this webpage: , click on "Charity of the Year" and scroll down until you see Real Medicine Foundation and click on the "Vote" button.  It also allows you to vote for charities in other…

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Voices from the Field: Giving the Green Light

June 16, 2011 - India

by Ximena Prugue

The first week of March, I had the pleasure of visiting Caitlin McQuilling, Nyamat Bindra, and Naiara Tejados in Madhya Pradesh, India as part of a project I started to distribute solar-powered flashlights to the rural villages called Giving the Green Light. I traveled with my best friend and business partner, Stephany Torres. We met up with Caitlin in Khandwa who greeted us with a bright smile and fresh attitude along with Manisha and Anjana, RMF field workers. We were off to Ranai, a village in Khandwa that is home to Korku tribe of India, to…

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We are posting the Situation Analysis of Acute Malnutrition in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh written by our friends and colleagues at Action Against Hunger (ACF). While putting together this report their teams visited RMF in the field multiple times and spent time learning about ground realities from RMF CNEs and ground staff.  RMF is always happy to host great organizations like ACF in the field and also learned a lot from their experts who visited.  We’re looking forward to collaborating more with ACF in the future and thank them for this informative report.

RMF’s role in the study is mentioned by…

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A Volunteer’s Perspective

by Surya Bajpai

May 24, 2011 - India

by Surya Bajpai

Below please find the a guest blog entry from Surya Bajpai, a high school student from Bhopal who spent a week during his summer vacation volunteering for Real Medicine Foundation out in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh:

Surya in class with his peers at the Bhil Academy

A volunteer’s perspective

It all started when my dad gave me a few options of where I could volunteer.  The Jhabua option was the most intriguing to me.  I wanted to volunteer because my parents told me to, but also because I wanted to get the feel…

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India Malnutrition Program: Community Mapping Pilot

May 09, 2011 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Community Mapping

The month of April was RMF’s Community Mapping Month in Barwani district as part of our Community Mobilization Pilot with the Department of Women and Child Development.  The team started this community mobilization activity by having a two day training on the method for Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs).  This was to ensure that all CNEs used similar, participatory methods in doing the mappings.

 The first day was at the office in conjunction with the weekly team meeting where mapping techniques, use of symbols, and methods to involve community stakeholders were discussed.  The…

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photo: Naiara with Anandini

I still remember vividly those days, long ago in terms of time, but mentally like it was yesterday. After two days in shock, unable to sleep or eat after finding Gila (5 year old girl with tuberculosis meningitis and hydrocephalus) in her home on January 27th, I received a call from Caitlin informing me that the poor little girl had died despite all the efforts of the doctors in Ahmedabad. Honestly I must admit that I felt a slight relief, as I believe if she had survived her quality…

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Madhya Pradesh, India March 19,

In the midst of a Jhabua sunset, Madhya Pradesh has a beauty that is recognized from a distance. Its people smile at foreigners with great curiosity and the children greet with innocence and joy. Almost instantaneously, a person can recognize the beauty of central India and realize that things run a bit differently. Perhaps my jaded New York mindset has gotten the best of me, but despite the binary customs between the East and West it is vital to embrace the multiplicity of Indian perspectives and traditions.

photo: Conducting a field-assessment…

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by Jaimie Shaff

photo: Shakuntala before surgery

We’ve all played the classic game “heads, shoulders, knees, and toes (knees and toes!)” Actually, I’ve been so wrapped up in adulthood, I had forgotten about it. One night when we visited the Bhil Academy, I saw Naiara playing the game with the smallest kids and remembered singing the song with my cousins and preschool students, back in the day. Part of the song goes “eyes and ears and nose and mouth…” and the children point to the respective parts of the face. Two eyes. Two ears.…

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For the friends and family who know me best, it goes without saying that my date of birth is a sore spot for me. Last year, I actually skipped town and went on an AcroYoga retreat out of state!

This year, I’m unbelievably grateful to report I had the best birthday ever, and it’s all because of you (and causes, of course). I began with a goal of raising $1,000 for some of the sweetest kids, and ended up with an astonishing $7,025. The money raised gave us the opportunity to follow up with kids from my “love”…

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Voices from the Field: Returning to Khandwa

March 04, 2011 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

photo: RMF Community Nutrition Educator, Samoti, and a child recovering from SAM. Photo Credit: Ximena Prugue

In March 2009, when I was conducting the initial field visits to develop RMF’s Malnutrition Eradication Program I visited a village called Shali Dana, in Kalwa block of Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh.  I remember being shocked and overwhelmed by the amount of children with severe acute malnutrition I saw in this village and the complete apathy and absence of government services in this village.  We saw dozens of glassy eyed children with thinning hair, bulging stomachs,…

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Jhabua, India, 16th of February 2011



It has really been a pleasure for me to see how, little by little, renewable green energies have become a part of our lovely school, the Bhil Academy ( or search Bhil Kids on Facebook). Because of the hard work and dedication of donors, volunteers, and partners, the Bhil Academy is becoming more and more ¨green¨ every day!

photo: eV Renewables´s staff members working at the Bhil Academy

Solar Electricity from eV Renewables and Loop Solutions

In Jhabua,…

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Voices from the Field: An Angel, from

February 15, 2011 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

I’m often asked what keeps me going in the face of the hardships and emotionally taxing situations we face working on issues such as childhood malnutrition and HIV/AIDS day in and day out.  My answer is simple: it’s all about finding inspiration in the most unexpected of places and circumstances.

photo: Caitlin, and the mothers and children at the Malnutrition clinic

On Tuesday while out on a village visit we came across a little girl, Gila, who was extremely sick and dangerously malnourished.  She and her family had just returned from a month long…

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Continuing with our series from Jaimie Shaff in the field in India, here is Part 2!

Naiara joined me on the second day and we began the day with a quick trip to the toy store. Luckily, the toy storeowners had just gone to Indore and had some more toys for us! We picked up a couple of our CNEs and headed back out to the villages, this time starting with some of the kids living in villages outside of our program’s reach.


Day Two:

photo: Manoj

Manoj lives in a village…

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We have lost seven children since I arrived. For these seven children, our best was not enough. They were too sick, adequate medical care too scarce, and their bodies too weak. We have treated hundreds of children at the NRC since I came here late July, but some of these cases were so terrible and challenging that our “best” was all that we could promise.  Most of them made it, their resiliency evident by the smiles we finally saw, but a few we just couldn’t save.

In honor of these children, I decided…

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Voices From the Field: A Volunteer’s Story

January 31, 2011 - India

by Naiara Tejados

Jhabua, January 24, 2011

I cannot stop thinking of how happy I feel knowing I made the right decision. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to have an experience like this. I can still remember how during the first year of my PhD studies I tried to contact several NGOs to try and volunteer in a developing country during my summer holidays. Most of the NGO´s would not accept my help for only a single month. I decided at that point to postpone this experience until my PhD was over.


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Jhabua, 24 de enero de 2011

Pienso en cada momento cuán feliz me hace saber que he tomado la decisión correcta. Desde que tengo uso de razón he querido vivir una experiencia así: recuerdo, cómo el primer año después de haber comenzado mi Tesis Doctoral intenté contactar con algunas ONG-s para durante mis vacaciones estivales ofrecer lo mejor de mí en algún país en vías de desarrollo. Tal y como me dijeron entonces, pocas ONG-s aceptarían mi ayuda de ser sólo para un mes. Fue entonces cuando decidí definitivamente posponer la experiencia hasta completar mi Tesis. Me…

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Introducing a new pilot initiative within RMF’s Eradicate Malnutrition Program:  Strengthening Community Management of Childhood Malnutrition through community mobilization, and nutrition and health education of mothers and pregnant women in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh has the highest rate of childhood malnutrition in India, with upwards of 60% of all children under 5 years old underweight.  In many tribal communities in the state, this rate may be even higher, with alarmingly high rates of severe and moderate acute malnutrition.  These communities often have limited access to government resources meant to prevent and treat malnutrition and have…

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Voices from the Field: Goals for the New Year in India

January 19, 2011 - India

by Jamie Shaff

photo: Pankaj walking

Happy New Year!

I finally arrived back to Jhabua after several planes, trains, automobiles, rickshaws, and countries. Go ahead and throw a bicycle in there for good measure. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for skis, but it was definitely worth sacrificing the slopes for some family time. The United States showed me a wonderful Christmas and New Year, with as much family, friends, and food as I could cram in my short reprieve from India. And don’t forget the hot showers!

As I sit on my porch and watch the sunset…

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Last 3 days to give!

December 29, 2010

If you were considering donating to a worthy cause in 2010 and taking advantage of the tax benefits of charitable donations, now is your last chance to contribute!

As we look towards new efforts and projects in 2011 it is only through your generous funding that we will be able to continue our long term development projects in some of the poorest areas on this planet.

As you know, we have set the goal of raising $100,000 by December 31st, and would greatly appreciate if you consider Real Medicine for your year-end donation.

In the spirit of Real Medicine…

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Continuing with our Malnutrition Eradication Program series and fundraiser

Sonu, one of our NRC’s most dramatic success stories, continues to improve and put on a healthy amount of weight!

All children who are treated at RMF’s NRC come back every 15 days for 2 months for follow-up clinics to ensure that the children are still healthy and gaining weight.  They are seen by our pediatrician, given a nutritious meal, and given a transportation allowance to allow them to get to the NRC and back home.  These are always our staff’s favorite days of…

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Malnourished Miracles: Vishal’s Story

December 03, 2010 - India

by Jamie Shaff

Continuing with our Malnutrition Eradication Program series and fundraiser another great blog from Jaimie Shaff in the field in India…

Every morning, when I wake up to the honking horns, howling dogs, and bustles of morning life I wonder how the day is going to be. As I lay out my yoga mat and dedicate my practice to what will be, I try to take a deep breath for all that I can not anticipate. See, life in the field is a constant state of uncertainty, a question of what will happen next, and a sequence of…

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Jana and baby patient

Scrubs, check. Stethoscope, check. Anti-malaria medication, check. Headlamp, check. I packed my bag for India with the same ingredients as I had for my last international nursing trip. I didn’t have a crystal clear idea of what my volunteer role would be, but I was pretty sure I would be doing some direct-patient bedside care. 37 hours of traveling later, I found myself working as part public health nurse, part nurse consultant, and part tribal field nurse.  As for what I had packed, malaria season was over, locals stared oddly at…

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As part of  the launch of our Malnutrition Eradication Fundraising Campaign, we have new blog from our team in India about our malnutrition education and treatment camp in India held in honor of Children’s Day last week.

Agasia Village, Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh.

On November 14 every year India celebrates Children’s Day to honor Nehru’s Birthday.  This year RMF India mobilized our staff and the local community in Jhabua to pool together resources and bring medical treatment to women and children in one of our most remote villages, Agasia.

This camp was truly a community effort. …

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This holiday season, support us in combating the malnutrition crisis among children in India. Help us to provide for the highest quality treatment and care at our treatment center for children with Severe Acute Malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh, India.


Sonu’s Story

Sonu was brought into our treatment center hardly conscious at barely 11 lbs and 2 years old.  Initially referred to the district hospital after testing with a very high white blood cell count, Sonu was rushed back to our treatment center after the hospital was unable to properly…

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Get to know the Athletes for Real Medicine through the "Passion and Purpose" interview series. Leading up the L.A. Marathon, we will be posting monthly interviews as well as additional Athletes for RMF updates here on the Real Medicine Foundation blog.   So, stay tuned…

Interview with Athletes for Real Medicine team member Lisa Suen by fellow team member Brandi Howell:

Q: How/why did you initially get involved with Real Medicine Foundation?

A:  At the beginning of 2010, I set a resolution to "do with a purpose", meaning that I wanted…

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India: On the Road

Migration and HIV/AIDS

November 15, 2010 - India

by Jamie Shaff

Street Play

Far from Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous journeys of self-discovery across the United States, here in Jhabua migration is a fact of life, with an averageof 60% of the population migrating seasonally for work. Our calendars revolve around crop cycles, and all holidays and planned family events coincide with the comings and goings of relatives and members of the village.  The locals know the bus and train schedules by heart, and special migrant buses are scheduled to carry the farmers away for work in other parts of the state, or other states in the country.…

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Sonu-NRC Patient of the Month

It's all in the follow-up

November 03, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Its all in the follow-up.

photo: Sonu, when he first arrived at the NRC

Sonu, one of our NRC’s most dramatic success stories, was back at the NRC for his second follow up looking positively chubby.  All children who are treated at RMF’s NRC come back every 15 days for 2 months for follow-up clinics to ensure that the children are still healthy and gaining weight.  They are seen by our pediatrician, given a nutritious meal, and given a transportation allowance to allow them to get to the NRC and back home.  These are always…

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RMF India Class of 2011

Sponsor a Community Nutrition Educator

November 01, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

The Real Medicine India Class of 2011

Announcing the 26 members of the Real Medicine India Class of 2011!  Yesterday all 25 members of the RMF India team who applied were accepted into the year-long Child Health and Nutrition Course at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).  The course officially starts on January 1st, with final exams in December of 2011.

This course is mostly a correspondence course, with classroom sessions and presentations quarterly at the IGNOU campus in Jhabua.  The course focuses on the basics of early childhood development…

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By Caitlin McQuilling

Over a year ago Ganesh Kamath was shocked to read about the staggering malnutrition rates in India.  A native of Kerala who has lived in California for over 50 years, Ganesh knows India well, but was shocked to find out that almost half of all Indian children are malnourished.  He started to research the problem some more and was moved by the grim tales of malnutrition coming out of the media in India.  He and friends, who all felt that malnutrition should not exist in India, formed a group to look into…

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Meet Sonu-Nutrition Rehabilitation Center Patient of the Month

October 20, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Meet Sonu, a little boy who kept our whole RMF India team up worrying 2 weeks ago.  He came into the NRC hardly conscious at hardly 5 kg and 2 years old.  When we got his White Blood Cell count and it was over 40,000 they referred him to the District Hospital at 11pm so he could be seen by an better pediatrician. Dr. Fabian Toegel, RMF’ Team India’s Country Director,  was at the hospital with Sonu until after midnight making sure that the doctor gave him proper treatment.

While got the right dose…

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Interesting chart and short article from The Economist about the current scoring on the Global Hunger Index for developing countries around the world.

India is among the countries with "Alarming levels of hunger"

Our Malnutrition Eradication Initiative in Madhya Pradesh, India is on the front lines educating and treating for this issue.

For more information about RMF’s Malnutrition Eradication Program in India, click here.

Folllow us on Twitter or Facebook

To contribute to this or any of our other initiatives, please click the Donate button below or through our website at

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Finding Empowerment Even in Data Entry

RMF and Source for Change

October 11, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Back in the spring as our Community Nutrition Educator’s began bringing in their baseline surveys, RMF India’s team had a dilemma.  We were getting in data by the ton and started to realize (a little belatedly) that we would never be able to get all the data entered in time for it to be useful for our program, given the power outages in Jhabua and the scarcity of extra manpower we could spare for months of data entry.  When we got to 37,141 forms with 71 variables of data each we knew there was no way we could…

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Be the Change you Wish to see in the World

October 05, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

On Saturday October 2 India celebrated the 141st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.  This day is a public holiday in India, but as usual, the RMF India team didn’t take the day off.  We are always inspired by Gandhi’s famed quotation “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and decided to honor this inspiring leader’s birthday not with talk or taking a holiday, but with action.

At RMF’s behest, the Jhabua District Collector (in-charge of the district) called Jhabua’s first ever Nutrition Rehabilitation Center Review Meeting on October 2nd.  The Collector called together all…

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Phil Ebner has written for our blog before on his time spent volunteering with a team from Loyola Marymount University, in Madhya Pradesh, India with the Revitalizing and Empowering Villages (R.E.V) team.  The following article was just published at Loyola’s online paper about his team’s work:

For more information on R.E.V., visit

For more information about our Malnutrition Program, click here.

Folllow us on Twitter or Facebook

To contribute to this initiative, please visit our website at

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Real Medicine Foundation is collaborating with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, School of Health Systems Studies, to undertake a unique study looking into the perceptions of patients who are using Ayurveda, Yoga, or Naturopathy therapy for chronic type II diabetes.

Why is Real Medicine embarking on this endeavor?

Firstly, it is clearly in line with RMF’s goal of approaching the patient as a whole, understanding the reasons and solutions behind good health, even if not necessarily conventional.  Secondly, at a more global level, the role of traditional, alternative and complementary systems of…

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India: Seven and HIV+

September 23, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling and Jaimie Shaff

Manoj and his friend Sunil (names changed) strolled into the ART office today and quietly sat down, neither of their feet touching the ground as their skinny legs and knobby knees dangled over the chairs. At 7 years old Manoj is one of our youngest HIV+ patients, but also one of the most responsible.  Manoj and Sunil walked 15 km to get to our office today so that Sunil could pick up his ART medication from us for the month.  In his high little voice he told me how important it is to take his ART medication every day…

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The Most Beautiful Smile, Part II

September 20, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Back in April I blogged about an HIV+ pregnant woman who came to talk about terminating a pregnancy.  She had already lost 4 children, still births, before she was diagnosed HIV, and then saw no hope in this 5th pregnancy.  When she came in however, she was already past 3 months pregnant, too late for an abortion.  We counseled the family that its possible for an HIV mother to have an HIV- child, 99% positive actually, if the family follows the proper Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission protocol (PMTCT).  I’ve never seen someone more relieved and hopeful…

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Voices from the Field: India

Stories of Traditional Female Sex Workers

September 16, 2010 - India

by Jis Jose and Jamie Shaff

In April 2010, RMF and JJHSS joined with UNFPA to develop interventions targeting Female Sex Workers (FSWs), one of the High Risk Groups for HIV/AIDS. Currently, we have programs in two districts of Madhya Pradesh, Jhabua and Nimach. Jis Jose is the Documentation Officer for the program, and recently visited the Nimach branch of the program. He returned with some fascinating stories, and agreed to share a couple of them in this blog.

photo: Meenu

Before I tell you about this girl you must know about the Bhanֽchara caste that exists in the District…

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RMF thanks Project R.E.V in India

September 13, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling and Phil Ebiner

Back in January, Phil Ebiner and Vince Patin, juniors at Loyola Marymount College, contacted RMF CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs to explore collaborating with RMF on a volunteer project for the summer.  Phil, Vince, and new team members Diego Gonzalez, and Sahar Mansoor, faced challenges to their work for RMF India even before they got on the plane.  Phil and Vince had been working very hard on securing a grant for their work and while all indicators pointed to them having a very good chance of receiving the grant…

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photo: Maria and Pankaj

With malaria season at its peak and migrant families returning home, complicated cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are presenting themselves at the NRC daily. In my short time here, I have seen a steady caseload of children presenting signs of tuberculosis, worms, malaria, diarrhea, and vomiting. For every child that comes into our NRC, we attempt to provide the best possible treatment, addressing underlying health conditions and symptomatic responses. Most complicated cases will flourish with antibiotics, de-worming tablets, and nutritional support while more serious cases might require a blood…

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RMF-Jeevan Jyoti HIV care center receives award, Government to make our model a policy

Meghnagar, August 25: The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) decided last week to expand the function of so-called Link ART Centers (LAC). RMF set up and has been supporting such a center at Jeevan Jyoti Hospital in a public private partnership, which recently received an award as best Link ART Center out of the 5 attached to the main Indore ART Center and is currently treating 44 patients with free antiretroviral drugs supplied by the Government. On Saturday, August 21st, NACO’s…

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Program Manager: Health and Nutrition

This past Tuesday marked my 14th day in India, aka my deadline for registration with the government of India. Since landing in this beautiful country, I have hit the ground running. The programs developed and implemented by RMF-India are absolutely incredible. Despite the fact that I was here evaluating the malnutrition program in January, I was certainly unprepared for how much the programs have expanded. The community has become more familiar with the faces of Caitlin, Michael, Fabian, and the rest of the field-staff, and the programs are developing with…

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Very good article published in Sunday’s New York Times about the malnutrition and food crisis in India.  This focuses specifically on the crisis in Jhabua and Madhya Pradesh where our Malnutrition Initiative and Team India are based.

Link to New York Times article here.

There’s even a photo featured in the article of the treatment center (NRC) that we support in partnership with the Jeevan Jyoti Hospital.   Photo here.

To see our photos of the inauguration of our treatment center at the Jeevan Jyoti hospital :  Slideshow on our website

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Treating the children of Jhabua, India

August 05, 2010 - India

By Sharon Levy

This May I had the privilege of volunteering as a Registered Nurse for the Real Medicine Foundation’s Malnutrition Eradication program in Jhabua, India. Jhabua is located in Madhya Pradesh, one of the poorest states in the sub-continent.  60 per cent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished in Madhya Pradesh.  RMF’s program targets this age group to be assessed for severity of malnutrition, need for inpatient treatment, and family education to decrease the incidence of malnutrition.

Working with Michael Matheke-Fisher, RMF’s Regional Programs Coordinator in South Asia, Caitlin McQuiling, Director of Programs…

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Real Medicine India is proud to introduce its newest staff member, Jaimie Shaff, as the team’s Program Manager for Health and Nutrition. Jaimie recently completed her Master of Public Administration for International Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy Analysis at New York University.

While Jaimie is new to the RMF team, she’s not new to our programs.  For the past year Jaimie has been a part of the 4 person “Capstone” team, assigned to help RMF’s “Eradicate Malnutrition” program through NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service’s Capstone program.  Jaimie and her colleagues spent two semesters…

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We’d like to give thanks to Carly Shankman for holding a succesful fundraiser in San Diego for the Malnutrition Inititiative in India.  Here is the blog she’s written about the fundraiser and her upcoming volunteer trip to India with RMF

By Guest Blogger, Carly Shankman

I was introduced to the Real Medicine Foundation through Michael Matheke (RMF India Programs Coordinator) about 4 months ago.  It was at that time I decided to leave my life in San Diego and take the journey of a lifetime backpacking through India.  Even greater than my desire…

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RMF is proud to announce that the Capstone team from the NYU Robert Wagner School of Public Service has successfully completed their collaboration on the Malnutrition Initiative in Madhya Pradesh. The Capstone team was engaged to assist RMF identify opportunities for eradicating malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh, while providing additional tools and information to assess program effectiveness. The objective of this report is to serve as an evaluative tool for RMF in regards to the “Eradicate Malnutrition” Program, from the perspective of the New York University Capstone team.

In April 2009, the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF)…

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The Energy of the NRC

June 21, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Two weeks ago the children we admitted we listless and dull-eyed.  Many were so dehydrated that when they cried there were no tears; the children were often too weak to make much noise at all.  Now as I write this I’m sitting in the middle of recovery – and its very loud.  After two weeks of therapeutic milk, micro-nutrients, and medicines, the children have gained weight and found new energy.  Two year old’s who have never walked are teetering on the edge of chairs, about to take off.  Toys no one touched are now being fought…

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By focusing on one child at a time, our Malnutrition Eradication team in Madhya Pradesh India, has been able to move forward in spite of the staggering figures stacked against them–100% malnutrition rates and 1.2 million children at risk–and has grown from 200 patients to 100o’s to become the largest active field presence in the country in only 9 months, reaching 500 villages and 100,000 families.

When Shukla announced her own dream to teach children from the slums of Bangalore India she was hit with a huge resistance from those around her–how was she, one…

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by Allison Glennon, Coordinator of Special Project, RMF Global Management Team

In April 2010, Lisa Suen of Los Angeles, one of our newest LA Marathon marathon runners, contacted me in a rather alarmed state. She and her good friend, Sharon Levy from San Diego, had been planning a humanitarian trip to India for years only to have it fall through at the last minute.

They had their tickets booked and were to depart in a matter of weeks but now, with the formal volunteer tour with a larger organization canceled, they felt abandoned.

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by Michael Matheke-Fischer, Regional Programs Coordinator, South Asia

After months of negotiating the bureaucratic maze of India; acquiring form after form and signature after signature; tireless hours spent on renovation and beautification by our dedicated staff and volunteers, RMF and its partner, Jeevan Jyoti Health Service Society, who operate Jeevan Jyoti Hospital, proudly inaugurated its Nutritional Rehabilitation Center (NRC) in partnership with the state government of Madhya Pradesh.

After the requisite ribbon cutting and speech by the district’s Chief Medical Officer, we immediately admitted our first 12 patients, who had been waiting (while being…

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On May 26th, Real Medicine Foundation and its partner, Jeevan Jyoti Health Service Society, inaugurated the first of two “Drop in Centers” for Female Sex Workers (FSWs) under our HIV/AIDS Targeted Intervention with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Located in Meghnagar at the crossroads of the bus-station and next to the train station, the Drop in Centre is a place where women can come to feel safe, exchange information, receive information and counseling about HIV/AIDS, get referrals for testing, get condoms, come to classes or information sessions about HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and…

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Below is from a success story from a field report compiled in part by RMF volunteer Lisa Suen who traveled all the way from Los Angeles to join our team fighting malnutrition and HIV/AIDS in Madhya Pradesh, India:

Today, we went on a field visit to the village of Devigrah where our nutrition coordinators, along with the village liaison, were able to identify one village child whose condition suggested treatment at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC).

The child was one-year old Baby William whose mother reported that he had been sick and vomiting recently,…

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It has recently been estimated that there are approximately 2.8 million female sex workers in India, an estimated 36% of whom are under the age of 18. These women are some of the most vulnerable in India to HIV/AIDS and STIs and some of the most underserved, especially in rural areas where their networks are more difficult to target and their access to health services most limited.

Real Medicine Foundation is proud to announce that we’ve tied up with UNFPA and our local partner Jeevan Jyoti Health Service Society to provide access to HIV/AIDS, STI,…

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India is the epicenter for malnutrition worldwide, effecting 60 million children or 46% of children under five years old in the country.

Malnutrition isn’t just a problem of families not getting enough food to eat, but is defined by the inadequate intake of essential nutrients.  Children in India are malnourished because their bodies do not have the building blocks necessary to function on a cellular level.  Unable to produce cells at a normal rate, the immune system fails causing common or chronic diseases to become deadly.

Across India malnutrition is so prevalent that it…

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RMF India Thanks Our Incredible Medical Volunteers

May 22, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Setu and Matt in Bhil Academy’s Health Center

Matt Oerti and Tyler Cherin just graduated from Harvard Medical School and are bracing for their next big step, beginning their residencies, moving to new cities, and giving up sleep (which they already sorely miss).  While many of their classmates decided to take this time between the pressures of med school and the hectic life of residency for well-deserved rest and relaxation, Tyler and Matt flew across the world to return to the sweltering heat of Jhabua, a rural town in Madhya Pradesh, India, to help RMF for a…

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March 31, 2010 by Caitlin McQuilling Anti Mori Bareisurei, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh

Jimmy Nirmal, RMF’s HIV/AIDS Program Manager in Jhabua remembers that when Anti Mori, first arrived at Jeevan Jyoti Hospital in Meghnagar he didn’t think she would make it through the night. Tuberculosis, an opportunistic infection of AIDS was rattling Anti’s frail, malnourished body. As Anti painfully swallowed her first dose of anti-retroviral medication, her three young children looked on hopelessly. No one in the room that night thought Anti would be a success story.

Fast-forward 18 months later. Anti is proudly showing me the eggs…

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The Barwani Nutrition Team – Wearing Us Out

April 20, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Today Michael and I joined our team of Community Nutrition Educators in Barwani district in the field to see how their work is going. We set out to Dekhaliya village in the Parti Block of Barwani district, considered one of the most remote blocks in all of India. After leaving the paved road behind and travelling across a pitted tractor path, our jeep could not continue any further, leaving us on the banks of a bridgeless, dry riverbed. With no other choice, the entire team took off on foot up craggy hills and across streams. We battled blinding sandstorms…

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Early Success: One Child at a Time

April 19, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

As our teams have finished their baseline surveys and are now moving on to the intervention stage of our childhood malnutrition program, we’re excited to already be seeing successes. A few days ago I went out with one of our community nutrition educators, Priyanka, from Alirajpur, to see how the team is doing with their trainings and individual household counseling sessions.

photo: Priyanka, one of RMF’s Community Nutrition Educators, Kashish, and Ranu

Priyanka and I visited Chota Undava village which Priyanka had already visited twice, once during the baseline and once to follow-up with…

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Now that the training of our Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) is complete, Real Medicine Foundation Team India has started our field surveys in 500 villages in Southwest Madhya Pradesh.  The CNEs are going door to door to find out about nutrition levels among all children under 5 and ask the thousands of families about livelihoods, access to healthcare and public services, and available food. This is the first time a survey of this size and scope is being conducted in these areas.

Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the level of malnutrition…

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The Most Beautiful Smile

April 12, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

On Saturday one of our new HIV positive patients, a tribal woman living below the poverty line in Jhabua , came into our office distraught.  She had just found out that she was accidentally pregnant, and while she and her husband had been trying for a child for a long time before they found out that they were HIV, she was contemplating terminating the pregnancy because of her HIV status.  As she told us her story the sadness in the room was tangible.  She spoke in barely an audible whisper and hung her head low, staring at the ground…

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Malnutrition is making headlines again in Jhabua.  Real Medicine Foundation has been here long before the district caught national attention for its severe poverty and will continue to work to improve the lives of people in this district.  Our Director of Programs and Regional Program Director both are based in Jhabua so that they can be close to RMF’s superb local field staff in the district.  We’ve also just hired on 11 women from Jhabua district to cover 100 villages here to ensure that whats described in this article doesn’t happen again.

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Unexpected Side-effect: Empowerment (RMF India Update)

March 02, 2010 - India

by Michael Matheke

Over the past few weeks the RMF team has been very busy, and our program has made some impressive steps forward. In addition to high-level meetings in Delhi to continue and strengthen our relationships with high-ranking government officials in both Delhi and Bhopal, the on the ground realities and details of the program are moving forward nicely. Specifically, we have completed the following major programmatic goals:

Staff, including district coordinators, has been hired and finalized in four of the five districts the “Malnutrition Eradication” program has targeted (Jhabua, Alirajpur, Bardwani, and Khargone). On February 14th, 15th,…
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HIV/AIDS in Jhabua and Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh December 2009 By Dr. Fabian Toegel

The 2006 HIV Sentinel Surveillance data shows that the prevalence of HIV in Madhya Pradesh has remained relatively stable (0.17 in 2002 to 0.11 in 2006).   Though state-wide data suggest stability in HIV prevalence, cases of HIV in the Jhabua area seem to be on the rise.  At the project’s inception approximately two year ago, Jeevan Jyoti Health Services Society was facilitating care for 54 patients infected with HIV.  This number continues to rise, with an average of 6 to 7 new…

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FEBRUARY 19, 2010

The Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC), a human rights organization with a General Consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council, has pointed out conditions of mass deprivation, especially hunger, malnutrition and distress migration, in Madhya Pradesh in its country report on India to the UN Human Rights Council.

The report, expressing concerns over the right to food situation in India, points out the shocking state of affairs in Madhya Pradesh regarding several human development indicators, especially malnutrition among tribals.

According to the…

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NYU Wagner Capstone Team Arrives in the Heart of Rural India to Assist the Real Medicine Foundation’s Malnutrition Eradication Program

The Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) and New York University’s prestigious Capstone Program have formed a year-long partnership to provide RMF India’s malnutrition eradication program with expert graduate student advising and to provide NYU’s Wagner Public Service Masters students a chance to “learn by doing.”  This week, three members of this four person Capstone team, Jaimie Shaff, Eyiwunmi Salako, and Hyein Lee, arrived in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, to take part in the field portion of…

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RMF runs the Mumbai Marathon

January 19, 2010 - India

Last Sunday, January 17th 2010, six runners stepped forward to run the Mumbai Marathon on behalf of Real Medicine in an effort to help spread the word about world issues and what Real Medicine is doing to help.

Thanks to Rohit Chemburkar tags were made and handed out to runners interested in running for us. Rohit also took all the photos that you see.

This was the first official race that Real Medicine has participated in while we gear up for the LA Marathon on March 21st, 2010. As an official…

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NYU Capstone Team Arrives in Jhabua, Madyha Pradesh

January 16, 2010 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

The Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) and NYU’s prestigious Capstone program have announced a partnership and three graduate students have arrived in Jhabua, Madyha Pradesh to assist with RMF’s malnutrition program.

An estimated 60 million children under the age of five are estimated to be malnourished India. The state where RMF is concentrating, Madhya Pradesh, has the country’s highest malnutrition burden, with 60% of its children under-five malnourished. Of the six million malnourished children in the state, 1.3 million of them have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and one million have moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

Children with MAM are…

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RMF in the News!

December 04, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

While the following news coverage is all in Hindi, it translates to a recognition of our work along with partner JJHSS in Madhya Pradesh, to raise awareness about and to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in Jhabua. We’ve been getting phone calls all week from across the states from people who were shocked to hear our stats – that 197 HIV+ people have been identified so far in Jhabua. People are stunned to learn that HIV is affecting rural India and not just the cities. Hopefully by raising visibility of HIV in rural areas of India, people here will be…

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RMF commemorates World AIDS Day in India

December 02, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Yesterday RMF commemorated World AIDS Day by participating in 3 simultaneous events to educate young adults on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention throughout Jhabua and Alirajpur.

In Jhabua, Jimmy, Caitlin and Rajpal took part in an event organized by Jhabua College.  The event, which was standing room only with over 200 people, was attended by college students and the district Chief Medical Officer.   Rajpal, President of the Jhabua Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (an organization which RMF supports) was the key note speaker, making all of us proud as he stood up in front of…

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The following is taken from the article, UNICEF: Poor nutrition is killing children, stunting growth on

Hunger is stunting hundreds of millions of children in the developing world, and more than 90 percent of them live in Africa and Asia, UNICEF says.

Poor nutrition is one of the main killers of young children, the U.N. Children’s Fund says in the new report “Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition.”

“The report we have launched draws attention to the fact that 200 million children under the age of 5 in the developing…

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RMF and Friends Paint Rural MP

November 11, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

This past weekend 12 artists volunteered to travel overnight via train from Mumbai, Delhi, and Bhopal to spend the weekend in Jhabua helping RMF transform our new Nutrition Rehabilitation Center at Jeevan Jyoti Hospital from a dull hospital ward to a work of art.

This weekend, deemed the Wall Project MP, was the first collaboration between the Wall Project and RMF and was an astounding success! The Wall Project is a group, founded in Mumbai, of artists (amateur and professional) who get together and create murals and public art displays across the cities. They volunteered…

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The following information was taken from the article: Desperate Farmers Sell Wives to Pay Debts in Rural India.

In her article, Sarah Sidner describes how in India, husbands are selling their wives and parents are selling their daughters to pay off impossible debts incurred after years of drought and resulting crop failure.

Clearly, this is not simply an issue of poverty but also one of culture structure where women are seen as potential currency.

"Nobody’s going to support or help them.…

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NY Talk on RMF’s Malnutrition Program in Madhya Pradesh, India

October 19, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

All RMF fans in New York are invited to come to Columbia University tomorrow to attend Caitlin McQuilling’s talk on about RMF’s malnutrition program in India.  Please see the information below:

Title: Childhood Malnutrition in India – on the ground and on the horizon in Madhya Pradesh

Speaker: Caitlin McQuilling, Program Director the Real Medicine Foundation’s Malnutrition Eradication Initiative in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Tuesday, 20th October, 2009

Venue: 306 Russell Hall, 3rd Floor Library, Teachers College, Columbia University

Organizer: Development in South Asia (DISHA)

India is currently facing its…

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This week across India various events will be held to encourage giving to those in need by a variety of NGOs during the Joy of Giving week ( In Bhopal two friend-NGOs, Spaandan and Aham Bhumika, are organizing an event called Vastrasamman, or “dignifying clothing” . Its a drive to encourage and stimulate giving – not neccessarily monetarily, but mostly in used clothes, games, toys, furniture, etc. These goods will be redistributed by volunteers and NGOs across the state to people who would really value these items.

RMF is offering up our new office…

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Our best NGO friend in Jhabua, the BHILS Health Initiative, has agreed to share its medical staff with RMF and to collaborate on nutrition in the villages in which they work.

The BHILS Health Initiative currently covers 22 villages in Jhabua in a holistic health intervention in which they visit the villages twice a month, screen for illness in all inhabitants and pay special attention to adolecent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers, and children under 5 years old. They are already screening for malnutrition and have in the past been providing nutritional supplements to children with moderate acute…

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Please watch this great video made by our friends at the World Bank. They do a great job at explaining malnutrition in India and what we can do about it. WB recently gave RMF a longer, India-specific version of this video, in Hindi, that has been edited and adapted as a tool to train field workers in nutrition. We’re using this video during our training sessions with local NGOs and self-help groups to give them an introduction on malnutrition.

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Very informative video on malnutrition in India from the World Bank:

Malnutrition in India

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Today 6 adults and one child received their antiretroviral therapy medications (ART) without having to travel 5 hours to Indore, the nearest ART center.  They mark the first of 54 patients who will be receiving free antiretroviral therapy through the RMF supported link ART center in Meghnagar, Jhabua!

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Real Medicine Foundation and Jeevan Jyoti Health Service Society Inaugurate Integrated Counseling and Testing Center (ICTC) and Link ART Center in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh

A milestone for both Madhya Pradesh States AIDS Control Society’s and the people living with HIV/AIDS in Jhabua

Meghnagar, Jhabua – July 25, 2009 – Together with the members of the Jhabua Positive Network, staff of Jeevan Jyoti Hospital, friends and supporters from Delhi, and Dr. Fabian Toegel and Caitlin McQuilling from Real Medicine Foundation, Bishop Devprasad Ganawa, Bishop of the Jhabua Diocese, cut the ribbon to inaugurate the new…

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Recent news coverage of malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh, India

June 27, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

NDTV recently covered the state of malnutrition in the districts where RMF is working in Madhya Pradesh. They give a great overview of the challenges we are facing.

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An Impending Emergency

A Note From The Field

June 23, 2009 - India

Caitlin McQuilling

Widespread malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh, India

Jhabua, Alirajpur, Khandwa, Khargone June 2009

Malnutrition is one of the most serious and large scale health problems facing the Indian state today:

46% of children under 5 in India are malnourished Over 60% of the children under 5 in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished – the country’s highest malnutrition rate.  Out of these 6 million malnourished children in MP, 1.3 have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and another 1 million have moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) [1] MP’s tribal districts are the worst hit in the country because of…
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The Hidden Hunger

May 31, 2009 - India

Caitlin McQuilling


Nicholas Kristof writes about malnutrition in Africa, but touches on some of the same issues we face with our malnutrition eradication program in India. Malnutrition in India is most often not a result of the lack of food, but a lack of proper nutrition compounded by a lack of education about what constitutes proper nutrition and young child feeding practices.

Malnutrition eradication approaches in India over the past 30 years have focused on food security, trying to ensure that families across the country have access to staple foods. This has resulted in a well developed…

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Field in Umri, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh. April 2009

Last week I blogged about our program launch. We realize that it is unusual in the NGO world for an organization to launch such an ambitious initiative in such a short period of time. While in the ideal world we could have spent many more months planning, doing baselines assessments, and fundraising, we know that we need to act as soon as possible with the resources we have because if we wait too long human lives are our opportunity costs.

Right now there are 1.3 million children…

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Malnutrition Eradication Initiative Launch

May 07, 2009 - India

by Caitlin McQuilling

Dr. Fabian Toegel addressing men and women representing over 40 tribal villages in malnutrition identification, treatment, and prevention. April 25th, 2009

After almost two months of planning, field assessments, and speaking to everyone from mothers of malnourished children to politicians we launched the first phase of our malnutrition eradication program in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh with two trainings in malnutrition identification, treatment, and prevention over the past week. Our intervention will be a long-term, holistic initiative, with not just trainings but consistent onsite activities and follow up over the next two years, but this past week we started…

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Starting RMF’s Malnutrition Program in India

Last month sitting comfortably with a cup of coffee and my laptop, I sat on my balcony in Delhi and read a New York Times article by Somini Sengupta titled “As India Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists” ( Living in India and considering myself a well-informed hand of the development sector, I knew that malnutrition was one of the nagging problems pulling back at India’s development, but the awesome extent to which malnutrition plagues this country was a shock. With 46% of India’s future threatened by malnutrition, to call the problem…

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In December, RMF’s Team India recorded the inauguration of a boarding school for 150 to 200 girls in Dattigaon, a tribal village in Dhar District in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The new boarding school marks a progressive step towards moving the community around Dattigaon forward, as these young girls, all members of the indigenous Bhil tribe, are the first in their families to be able to pursue higher education and learn English.

Team India’s aim with this school that now serves ten villages is to build a network that supports their students as they develop…

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Malnutrition getting worse in India – Madhya Pradesh

March 24, 2009 - India

by Dr. Martina Fuchs

About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished.

Real Medicine Foundation works in Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh.

Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. Her name is Roshni.

She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.

Roshni is suffering from severe acute malnutrition, defined by the…

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Harvard and the Real Medicine Foundation have partnered for an ongoing student outreach course that will support the organization’s HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs in Jhabua, India.

Taking place over an eight week period, this project will allow students to work alongside RMF doctors and volunteers at the Bhil Academy, teaching classes in English and Science and helping to monitor the health of the students. They’ll also assist with the activities of the Jhabua District HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Program RMF helped establish in 2006.

Dr. Martina Fuchs, founder of Real Medicine states: “There have been substantial…

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Nurses in RMF’s partner hospital in Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Real Medicine’s projects are in the isolated and barren district of Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, India. Jhabua district has the highest percentage of tribal population in central India and is one of the country’s poorest regions. It is largely unknown that India, a vast country of a billion plus, has its own “native” or tribal communities which have inhabited the subcontinent for tens of thousands of years. One of these communities is called “Bhils” and lives in Jhabua. The Bhil tribe is a proud and ancient ethnic group inhabiting the western part of central India. The Bhils face the…

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In March of 2007 we are set to inaugurate and open the Jhabua School in Dar, India. Read on…

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