Gender in Global Health

Gender in Global Health

Manoj Kumar, staff at IPH published an article in International Health Policies



I write this blog based on reflections from a global health conference I attended recently, but the issue of gender (in)equality has also been weighing on my mind for some time now.
Gender equality and equity – we refer you to some literature for the intricacies of the terms – can enable us to create a society wherein each individual enjoys equal opportunities, rights and obligations. And early on in this blog, I would like to clarify that for the sake of this blog post I am referring to gender within the binaries of male and female.

Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and vital to the realization of human rights for all. Gender inequities, as one report tells us, can for example damage the physical and mental health of girls and women.  Many of us working in global health and social development are familiar with the literature and discourse on gender and its role in the wellbeing of entire populations. And yet, attending some sessions on gender at the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver (HSR 2016)  got me [as a male participant] thinking – where are the men?

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Manoj Kumar, staff at IPH published an article in International Health Policies

Manoj Kumar, staff at IPH published an article in International Health Policies

India and the world in 2016: a challenging present, an uncertain future

Google’s “See what the world searched for in 2016” says it all: how has the year 2016 been so far for all of us? Four out of five of the top most trending global news searches relate to disasters – until we started talking about the Rio Olympics. I like the quote there, though, “love is out there”, and on a personal note I’d like to add, “Where hope is lost” and if not lost, speedily fading away.

My country is not alien to this context and process. Of late, when the whole world just focused on a single election and individual, predicting “not so happy” consequences and a whole lot of uncertainties, we Indians were not so startled. Yes, being a stable yet very peculiar economy in our region, sensitive to foreign investment, the Indian rupee, market equities, and trade did slide for a moment following the incredible (unexpected) US electoral results. However, we were not as surprised as many others, perhaps because we had other things to be surprised at. ……(Coincidentally the US election results and the demonetization announcement in India happened on the same day)……   I guess, collectively we are now adjusted to ‘uncertainties’- although with positive hopes.


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HSG Speaks: Interview with Wim Van Damme by Manoj Kumar Pati

HSG Speaks: Interview with Wim Van Damme by Manoj Kumar Pati

The ev4gh is an innovative multi-partner blended training program for young, promising and emerging health policy & systems researchers, decision makers and other health system professionals. 
This program gives an ideal platform for these young minds to voice their views and understanding on global health issues while being rooted in their local/regional realities. The program entails a distance coaching phase followed by a face to face training phase, the later being usually organised preceding the global symposium on health systems research bi-annually.  
Manoj was fortunate to be part of this program as an EV 2016.  Additionally being the official correspondent for the symposium this time,he took the opportunity to interview the man who started this innovative training program six years back- founding father of ev4gh initiative- Prof Wim Van Damme from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium. 
Here is the to watch that interview link!
For those want to know further on ev4gh, here is the website.

Earlier FCRA statement

Recent developments with respect to renewal of IPH’s FCRA registration

The Institute of Public Health Bengaluru (IPH) has been a pioneer in cutting-edge applied research and public health training programmes in health systems and health policy in Karnataka. IPH is registered as a legal entity under the Karnataka Society Registration Act. It has been working for over ten years to further health status of communities in Karnataka and India. Recently IPH commemorated a decade of work with a campaign: #10yearsofIPH (click here to read/watch a short video of our work).

What does IPH do?

We have received national and international recognition for our work on various aspects of strengthening health systems, enhancing health equity and contributing to better health policies in Karnataka and India.

    • Research: Researchers from IPH have published data-driven and evidence-based research papers in journals of national repute including Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Indian Journal of Medical Research (of the ICMR), Economic and Political Weekly etc., as well as international peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the Lancet, British Medical Journal and various others.
    • Teaching public health: Faculty at IPH teach public health courses in various reputed public health institutions in Karnataka and other states, as well as provide highly rated e-learning courses in public health across the country, especially to government health staff, as well as to students in various countries in Africa and South Asia. IPH’s blended learning programme has been featured at various international workshops as a prime example of well-designed and relevant public health content.
  • Various public health achievements: Some of our major achievements over the past 10 years include training more than 1,800 government officials, facilitating public health policy reforms such as, a ban on gutka, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and hookah in Karnataka. In recognition of IPH’s scientific leadership, many faculty members of IPH have been nominated as members of state- and national level committees advising governments such as the National Health Systems Resource centre, Karnataka State Health Systems resource Centre, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Karnataka State Anti Tobacco Cell, and an Official Delegation of Government of India for the Seventh Session of Conference of Parties under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

What is FCRA and what is IPH’s stand on FCRA?

FCRA is an Indian law that regulates and monitors the flow of voluntary contributions/grants from non-Indian sources to NGOs in India. It is managed by the Home Ministry. It is the law of the land and IPH respects this law. Since February 2010, IPH has been registered under this law and has complied with all requirements of this law till date. This is a matter of public record.

What are the recent developments related to IPH and FCRA?

It appears that we have become victim of our success. In the end of October (2016), we were informed through a one-line email from the FCRA authority of refusal to renew our FCRA registration. In November 2016, a newspaper report carried in The Times of India labeled us as “anti-national”. This was a rude shock for us at IPH as we have not engaged in ANY activity remotely related to weakening the government or the State. In contrary, IPH’s work is widely held up within the medical and public health community as being an example of close collaboration with several state and national government agencies, which in turn have acknowledged and appreciated our work in public health.  

Why does IPH need foreign funds?

IPH works on health research, designing cutting-edge public health training programmes and in working closely with Governments  and communities to improve healthcare. IPH competes with leading research organisations and Universities across the world in obtaining competitive research grants. While we also work with various Indian funding agencies, our research requires us to work with leading researchers and academic organisations across several countries. In fact, across various scientific disciplines, international research collaboration is favoured and encouraged in order to advance science and policy. While IPH does not solely rely on foreign funds, this is an important source of research funding for the Institute as is the case with any public health or scientific research institute in the country or elsewhere.

Why is IPH being denied FCRA registration?

Unfortunately, we have not been provided ANY reason for the refusal to renew our FCRA registration. On repeated emails and formal inquiries, no reason has been provided yet and we continue to sincerely appeal to the Government to provide us with reasons for this refusal.

In the lack of any reason forthcoming, we are forced to believe that vested industry interests could have played role in maligning and misrepresenting IPH’s work. Conveying our concerns, we have made a sincere evidential appeal to concerned authority adducing facts and figures about IPH’s public health activities over time. Unfortunately, this appeal was also denied without providing any information on the reasons.

How has the FCRA registration refusal affected IPH?

We are currently in an acute financial crisis following the refusal. Many staff are taking voluntary salary cuts to ensure we are able to save existing resources. Later this month, with a heavy heart, we will have to let go of over half of our staff, a vibrant and passionate group of young and committed public health professionals due to this.

How can I help or support IPH and its work?

In this tough time, we request you to stand with us and support us to tide this crisis and come out stronger. We value your support now more than ever and hope you will help us in these difficult times. If you would like to make a financial contribution to help IPH tide over this crisis, visit support us page 

What next? And why support IPH?

With no other way to go forward, we have appealed to the Karnataka High Court (see article in Economic Times). We shall not allow the industry or any misunderstanding/mischaracterisation of our work to affect our work in strengthening health systems in India.

Encouraging academia and building scientific temper is an important principle enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Academic and research organisations such as IPH are an important part of a strong health system, producing good quality research and contributing data and evidence on strengthening public health. The world-over, there is a recognition that well-designed and relevant research is an important contributor to strengthening health policy.

We strive to continue working closely in contributing to public health in India. And given our confidence in our work and a clear conscience, we believe this shall pass. Meanwhile we appeal to friends, colleagues and well-wishers to #StandwithIPH.


Manoj Kumar Pati, staff at IPH published blogs on organised session – HSR2016

Manoj Kumar Pati, staff at IPH published blogs on organised session – HSR2016



Manoj Kumar Pati is a public health researcher at the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru. He has a masters in public health (MPH) in health system management. His research interests are implementation research, equity research, epidemiology and non-communicable diseases.

sustainable-implementation-of-service-delivery-programmes1) How can we achieve sustainable implementation of service delivery programmes?

We are increasingly seeing several service delivery programmes running at country level, particularly in South East Asia. For example, in India, we have seen the implementation of many programmes that are top-down and vertical in nature. Citizen demand has never been considered while implementing social security schemes for health and different political environments present significant challenges for sustainable service delivery. 

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2)Throwing out the rule book: emerging voices to emerged leaders

emerging-voices-to-emerged-leadersWe heard the voices of young health systems researchers and their mentors loud and clear the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) organized session on day one of the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. The EV4GH, is a unique Thematic Working Group of the Health Systems Global.

The opening plenary of the Symposium, set the scene for the challenges faced by the global health community highlighting the need for resilient and responsive health systems in the 21st century. The diverse panel brought a range of issues to the table from citizen’s choices and voices, primary health care, universal health coverage (UHC) to issues of health of immigrants and migrants.


The Soliga Story

The Soliga Story



The Soliga people of southern India continue to live within and around forest areas. Their history, tradition, and culture are deeply rooted within the forests in which they live. In an increasingly globalised world, their ways and means slowly erode as they inch towards the unfulfilled promises of development.

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Introduction to Maternal Health of a Tribal Community in South India

Introduction to Maternal Health of a Tribal Community in South India



Introduction to Maternal Health of a Tribal Community in South India: Tribal communities in India are among the worse off with respect to maternal and child health. In India, only one among three deliveries of tribal mothers is considered a safe delivery, while only one in two tribal children are fully immunised against vaccine-preventable diseases. The Indian government’s flagship programme for improving health, the National Health Mission brought significant health reforms to improve the quality and reach of reproductive and child health services in India, such as the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and various cash incentives and schemes. It also encouraged local health planning at the district level, so that areas like Chamarajanagar may set their health priorities locally. However most Indian districts still do not adapt their health planning to suit their local context.

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Delegates from African countries visit Tumakuru TB centre

Delegates from African countries visit Tumakuru TB centre

African delegation visited our PhD project on 26. 10.16 as part of the Knowledge Exchange Visit on Public- Private Partnerships  in health. It was coordinated by Health Systems Research India Initiative in collaboration with German Technical Cooperation and Department of Economics Affairs, GoI. This was funded by the African Development Bank (AFDB) through the India-Africa Economic Cooperation Fund. 
Delegates were from the countries of Burkioi Faso, Malawi and Zimbabwe, along with officials of the AfDB. They interacted with RNTCP team and were impressed with the concept and its working. They found the interactions with Dr.Sanath and Dr. Sandesh ( a leading private physician) very informative. 
Release of study report on tobacco package warnings

Release of study report on tobacco package warnings

IPH, public health ind india, tobacco


Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru had organised a press conference on 17th September 2016 at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan to release the findings of compliance study for 85% pictorial health warnings on tobacco products. The fact Sheets of Karnataka study was released by Freedom Fighter and Social Activist Shri. H S Doreswamy, Minister for food and Civil supplies and consumer affairs GOK Shri. U T Khader, Senior BJP leasder and former Law Minister Shri. Suresh Kumar, Shri. Puttaswamy Gowda from Bharathiya Kisan Sangha, Shri. Mallikarjuna Jakati from Karnataka Krisika Sangha, Dr. U S Vishal Rao, head and Neck Oncologist and Member of High power committee for tobacco control GOK, Dr Pragati Hebbar from Institute of Public Health along with Mr.Senthil Kumar, a cancer survivor from Voice of Tobacco Victims who had initiated thanking petition on appreciating the step taken by the government regarding 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products. release-of-study-report-on-tobacco-package

Releasing the fact sheets, speakers highlighted the importance of larger pictorial warnings in safeguarding public health and appreciated the efforts of governments for the effective enforcement of new health warnings. During the event packets of major brands in all three categories(Cigarette, beedi, Smokeless) which were used for compliance study had been displayed to showcase the compliance level in our state. Dr. Pragati Hebbar and Dr Vishal Rao mainly focused on the findings of compliance study and also gave details about the efforts put by Industries to rollback pictorial warning using farmers and labourers as front group. Representative of farmers association explained that the new pictorial warning has not impacted negatively on farmers and also denied the claim made by the industries about the loss of farmers livelihood due to new pictorial warning.


01) Deccan Herald, 18 Sep 2016, Page 04,
“70% of tobacco products in state follow warning norms on packs.”
02) The Hindu, 18 Sep 2016, Page 06,
“69 p.c. cigarette brands comply with pictorial warning rule in Karnataka.”
03) Vijayavani(VV), 18 Sep 2016, Page 03,
“Report on compliance study of pictorial warning released.”
04) Prajavani(PV), 18 Sep 2016, Page 3D,
“85% pictorial warning being complied by most of the brands.”
05) Vijaya Karnataka(VK), 18 Sep 2016, Page 04,
“Letter to Union government on control of foreign tobacco products: U T Khader.”
06) Hosadigantha(HD), 18 Sep 2016, Page 10,
“New warnings have not impacted farmers livelihood: U T Khader.”
07) Kannada Prabha(KP), 18 Sep 2016, Page 04,
“Compliance study report on pictorial warning released.”
08) Udayavani(UV), 18 Sep 2016, Page 05, 
“Letter to Union government on control of foreign tobacco products: U T Khader.”
09) Rajasthan Patrika, 18 Sep 2016, Page 06,
“70% of tobacco products in state follow warning norms on packs.”
10) Samyuktha Karnataka(SK), 18 Sep 2016, Page 10,
“Compliance study report on pictorial warning released.”
11) The Times of India, 19 Sep 2016, Page 05,
“70% cigarette, 12% beedi products have complied with pictorial rule: Survey.”
Online Coverage:
“70% Cigarette products in Karnataka comply with new pictorial warning norm: Survey.”
13) – 

“70pc of cigarette products in K’taka comply with new pictorial warning rule.”

“70% Cigarette products in Karnataka comply with new pictorial warning norm: Survey.”
“70% cigarette products in Karnataka comply with new pictorial warning norm.”
16) City News for You
“70% Cigarette products in Karnataka comply with new pictorial warning norm: Survey.”