While community participation in health care activities is a must, strengthening of community based institutions towards achieving this must receive the highest priority. Women and children are the vulnerable groups in the community. Towards achieving the goal of getting women involved in health and developmental activities, empowering them to make them self–reliant and self confident is imperative. Women constituting themselves into Women’s Groups (Mahila Mandals) and Youth into Youth Groups (Yuvak & Yuvati Mandals) and setting up of self–help groups are the steps which have already proved to be fruitful and these will have to be vigorously promoted and pursued. Vocational training towards skill development should be universalized encompassing all sections of population, particularly the deprived and disadvantaged, and covering vast areas. In this context the next millennium should concentrate on setting up several demonstration centers to give a boost to this infrastructural development activity.
Yet another area where a major thrust is needed is the empowerment of Panchayat Raj Institutions. Apart from imparting knowledge on the functioning of the Panchayat Raj, especially after wide powers have been given to these institutions, facilitating the Panchayats to function more effectively and efficiently through micro–planning needs to be given particular attention and priority.
Science is progressing very fast, but alongside diseases are changing their pattern and new diseases are emerging. While some of the existing diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Leprosy, HIV/AIDS etc. yet remain to be effectively controlled/eradicated newer challenges like cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and a host of other diseases of stress and strain as well as those related to environment and life styles, and geriatric problems are on the ascendancy in alarming proportions. The Research Center will have to brace itself to get involved in facing these challenges.
There is already an explosion of technology and it is going to become manifold in the next millennium. Information Technology should therefore receive highest priority. Its adoption and application to the local situation will be the greatest challenge which the Research Center will have to accept.
In short, KEM Hospital Research Center will get involved in all the above challenges of the next millennium towards finding feasible solutions. Thus, the task is formidable but not impossible. The KEM Hospital Research Center will face the 21st Century with confidence, sure of continuing its good work even as it looks forward to expanding its horizons.