Photo of the Day: Understanding Individuals, Not Just Symptoms


When patients visit the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) Hospital in Saragur, Karnataka, India, they are treated for more than just their symptoms.

“We wanted to understand them as individuals, not just symptoms, signs,” said Dr. Seetharam, president of the hospital and one of its chief physicians.  Dr. Seetharam said that when he first opened the rural hospital in 1984, he and his colleagues approached each patient strictly from a medical perspective.

“We thought that prescriptions could cure illnesses.  They don’t.  There are a lot of things that go into making the prescription work.”   

Today, Dr. Seetharam says he takes a more holistic approach to treating his patients, especially children, taking the time to talk to them about their day and their dreams, in addition to their health.

“The community has the wisdom of its own so we need to join hands with them and learn from them and understand their needs first.”

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) partners with SVYM to provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission services to families in India.  The program supports services in 364 private and faith-based hospitals spread across four high HIV prevalence states in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, and Karnataka.

Learn more about EGPAF’s work in India.