Four institutes to train 614 districts on health management

August 12th, 2008 - 10:37 am ICT by IANS  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) To boost the rural health delivery mechanism, the government has handpicked four institutes that will train all district medical authorities in India on hospital management. The health ministry says the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has been doing a good job, but there is a need to enhance the skill set of people at the district level.

“The health ministry has selected four institutes to train the district health authorities and doctors. It is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the public health managerial workforce through specially designed courses,” said Deoki Nandan, director of the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW).

NIHFW is under the health ministry.

NIHFW; the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Maharashtra; the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIHPH), Kolkata; and the Public Health Foundation of India, a public-private partnership institute with a presence across the country, are the four chosen institutes.

District health authorities and doctors will undergo a one-year programme at the institutes. Seven months will be for classroom training, two and a half months for fieldwork and the rest for dissertation and evaluation.

“There is a need to devise programmes which will impart the skills required to tackle existing and emerging public health challenges and enhance the public health managerial workforce,” Nandan told IANS.

Nandan said all the institutes have been given the responsibility of certain states.

“NIHFW will train authorities from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradseh, Uttarakhand and Delhi. We have already received 25 registrations from these states,” he added.

Three years ago, India started its flagship NRHM to boost healthcare in its villages. But Unicef had recently said that it is failing to deliver results.

Every year, 2.1 million children in India do not survive to celebrate their fifth birthday. At least 46 percent of Indian children and over 50 percent of women are malnourished.

In spite of tall claims by the government, tens of thousands of people suffer from malaria and around 2,000 people die of mosquito-related diseases. Similarly, thousands of people die of diarrhoea every year.

Nandan said public health challenges faced by the country call for developing capacity, especially in rural India, by “positioning qualified professionals who can execute and monitor national health policies and supervise the public health workforce”.

The course has innovative modules like NRHM, disease surveillance, public-private partnership, bio-statistics, epidemiology, operation research, occupational and environmental health, health promotion and management of district and state health system.

According to the health ministry, a major strength of the programme is in providing opportunity to apply learning directly within the community setting.

Nandan said since the country is huge, efforts must be made to connect with the people and solve the problems through community participation.

“I hope the initiative will help solve the problem at the grassroots.”

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