Comprehensive School Health Programs delivered by community health workers in rural primary schools.

The Comprehensive Health and Hygiene Improvement Program (CHHIP) is a health and education improvement program created for implementation in rural primary schools in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India. 

How do you deliver cost effective health care to hard to reach rural areas around the world?

Our model is to create innovative programs, implement them into our communities, and test them using the scientific method to ensure they are high impact, cost effective, and evidence based. 

We take a three pronged approach to deliver health care utilizing the talent that already exists within the local communities which we work. Our core programs are delivered via local human resources; School Health Workers which are local community members that are hired and trained by Broadleaf, and Primary School Teachers. 

We call our two keystone programs CHHIP and TeaLeaF.

Our Innovation

Three Components of CHHIP

Broadleaf infrastructure improvement

Improvements to School Health Environments

The first step is to ensure the schools that we work in our structurally sound and have basic infrastructure such as running water and working toilets. 

Broadleaf works with local communities to complete the necessary construction projects at the schools before implementing the rest of our initiatives.

Broadleaf Hygiene and Health Education

Health and Hygiene Education

Broadleaf has created a teacher training program to improve in school learning and a health and hygiene education curriculum. 

Our curriculum and supporting materials and activities are delivered by our School Health Activists (SHAs) who teach their students about water, sanitation, hygiene, germs, and nutrition so they can stay healthy and in school.

Broadleaf Primary Healthcare

Primary Health Services Intervention

Broadleaf has developed a training, screening, and decision making program to empower our School Health Activists (SHAs) to not only provide primary health care services but also know when to escalate and refer issues and how to help families navigate and access the healthcare system.

SHAs are a local resource for our communities and provide health services such as distribution of deworming tablets and iron supplements, vision screenings, growth monitoring, dental care and behavioral and mental health screening. 

Our Impact

From the beginning, we've taken a scientific approach to understanding the results of our CHHIP program. Anecdotes are heart warming, but too often, there are too many "good intentions" in global development. Too much money is invested in programs that do not deliver cost effective results.  Using the scientific method, we've been able to prove significant improvements to the local communities where we work. 

We found a >40% reduction in diarrhea rates in students within our CHHIP schools.

Parents in our communities reported improvements to their children's physical health. 

Students in CHHIP schools had a 13% increase in health knowledge.

Our students had improvements to their height and weight scores

Students in CHHIP schools attend more days of school per year. 

Teachers in CHHIP schools report decreased use of corporal punishment.

Our Reach

With your help, we will reach more than 5,000 students across 70 community schools in rural communities of the Eastern Himalayas. Over 500 children struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges will receive evidence based care from their teachers. Students within our CHHIP schools benefit from our health inventions which include; iron supplementation, vision screening, de-worming, and other high impact primary health services.

Our programs are reaching more than 1,400 students per year. Over 500 children struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges will receive evidence based care.

We have trained more than 13 teachers and 5 Schools Health Workers who deliver more than 11,000 hours of health education lessons both in the classroom and to the broader community. 

We are currently working in over 70 schools within 6 communities within the Darjeeling District

We've worked with our partner schools and communities to build more than 35 infrastructure projects including; toilets, clean water systems, and new classrooms.

Stories from the field

  • 26/11/2018 - Broadleaf 0 Comments
    Small Steps For Cleaner Communities

    Students in Padeng Primary School set up a local system for waste management - making a small step to improve the cleanliness of their school.

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  • 23/02/2018 - Broadleaf 0 Comments
    Broadleaf's First Women's Community Health Festival

    With support from Adventures for the Mind, Broadleaf hosted it's first Women's Community Health Festival

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  • 27/12/2017 0 Comments
    Anjila's Story - Improving Access to Healthcare

    In Padang, the nearest health clinic (for those that can afford it) is more than 2 hours each way by foot in Kolbong. Broadleaf improves access to healthcare by utilizing our school health activists in the communities that we work. 

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  • 04/12/2017 - Broadleaf 0 Comments
    ​​Ayush's story - the effectiveness of deworming.

    Four year-old Ayush is a student at a Broadleaf school who was able to stay healthy and stay in the classroom this year thanks to a simple but powerful intervention: de-worming tablets.

    Nearly half of kids in Darjeeling have suffered from intestinal parasites, contributing to rates of malnutrition that hover around 25%. Years ago a bad dose of medication made Ayush sick. Since then, his mother Saira had been understandably scared to give her son the drugs he needed. But after building a trusting relationship with Broadleaf School Health Activist and community member Satyam, Saira was willing to try again. 

    Now Ayush is thriving with the help of regular de-worming and iron supplements.It takes less than ten dollars to de-worm a class of students in Darjeeling – and studies have shown that when children receive deworming tablets, school attendance improves by as much as 20 percent. That’s why New York Times columnist Nick Kristof praised the power of de-worming as a life-saving Christmas gift:

    Deworm a child. Or a village of children! One-quarter of people worldwide have worms in their bellies, impairing their nutrition and often leaving them anemic. Children can be dewormed for about 50 cents each, and this leads them to miss less school and earn more as adults. Kids in the American South were dewormed 100 years ago by the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, leading to large gains in school enrollment and in literacy, and now we can easily and cheaply achieve the same gains worldwide.

    Fighting malnutrition is just one way your support for Broadleaf unlocks human potential. By helping kids to practice hygiene, teaching classes on topics like nutrition and mental health, and making direct referrals to medical care, together we can keep students in the classroom and empower them to build brighter futures for their families.

    In Broadleaf's holiday gift guide, you can contribute enough deworming medication to deworm all the students in our schools for an entire year. 

    You can read the full NY Times piece here: 

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  • 28/11/2017 - Broadleaf Health and Education 0 Comments
    Namrata's Story: Malnutrition in the Darjeeling Region

    Last year, Namrata’s mother Sweta was alarmed to hear from her daughter’s teachers at Laxmi Memorial School. Namrata had stopped participating in class or playing games during recess. Her energy was low and her mood subdued. Sweta was worried and uncertain where to turn for help. 

    Fortunately, Broadleaf School Health Activist Dhiraj had begun to monitor the growth of students in Namrata’s school. Dhiraj confirmed that Namrata’s height and weight had dropped well below the average for girls her age, and connected Namrata with health services including nutrition education and iron supplements.  

    Today, Namrata is able to run and play with her friends – and spend her school days focused on learning. Broadleaf’s unique school health model empowers community members to become school-based health educators who work tirelessly to improve the health of children like Namrata. By helping kids to practice hygiene, teaching classes on topics like nutrition and mental health, and making direct referrals to medical care, Broadleaf Health Activists enable children in under-resourced communities to stay in school and thrive.  

    Due to malnutrition, 25 percent of school children in the Darjeeling region are underweight for their age. We believe a preventable health condition like this should never be an obstacle to education. When you donate to Broadleaf, we will use your gift to help children like Namrata stay healthy and stay in school.

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  • 12/10/2016 - Michael Matergia 0 Comments
    Tackling Childhood Epilepsy in the Darjeeling Hills

    Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease affecting school aged children in India. Yet, while highly treatable, due to lack of awareness, stigma, and access to healthcare, "epilepsy is more of a life sentence than a medical diagnosis" for children in rural India.

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