For 26 years, SEARCH has shown that ordinary villagers and illiterate midwives can be trained to care for newborns where there is no doctor. Rani has an MD in gynaecology, and her husband Abhay has one in medicine. Both also have masters degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The couple returned to India in the mid-1980s to address the health problems of the rural poor, and founded SEARCH at Shodhgram (research village) in Gadchiroli, a three-hour drive from Nagpur city. Abhay explains the principle of ‘barefoot doctor’, adopted by the Chinese government in 1965: making health care available within walking distance for a mother who is carrying a sick baby. For the Bangs, that meant care for newborns would have to be provided in their homes.

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