The Health Inc Karnataka team organized a two-day training on 24th and 25th September 2012 for both district supervisors and field investigators at Vishranti Nilayam, Bangalore. The main objectives of the training were to train the field teams from all four districts on administering the follow-up survey questionnaire or form 2, to review the Kannada version of the questionnaire, and to orient them regarding their role and responsibility in the next stage of data collection in the field. The district coordinators along with the Bangalore team members conducted the training using a mix of lectures, role-plays, and group discussions. The district supervisors also participated in additional sessions on generating micro-plans, and maintaining financial records. This survey was aimed at collecting details of significant events in the preceding month in survey households if any, and was to be conducted monthly till December 2012.
The Urban Health Team from the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru organised a rally with over 100 local schoolchildren in KG Halli on 1st September to draw attention to a unique event in the form of an exhibition, open to all, in the Bismillah Shaadi Mahal on Tannery Road between 5th and 8th September. An important element of the exhibition will be the dissemination of the findings of the Urban Health Project, that has been working locally from 2009 to date.
The rally involved street theatre performances by the schoolchildren and highlighted issues such as; water, sanitation, waste disposal and smoking, that are faced by the residents of ward no 30. The study conducted by IPH, Bengaluru found that 1 in 10 people in KG Halli suffered from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The rally and exhibition draw attention to the dire straits of many urban residents in Bengaluru, even with access to both state and BBMP services. The event was prominently covered by the press, and their articles can be found here.
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It was another day in the field collecting data for Health Inc project. The team reached village near Nelamangala. After meeting staff in Gram Panchayat (GP) we were asked to talk to Anganawadi teacher and take her help to identify the houses for collecting data. But the teacher was not happy to accompany us. She said “why should I help you? it is GPs responsibility”, however we managed to convince her to accompany us.
Interesting discussion started after that, we gave her the list of household and explained where we got that list. She said…oh then I have that list with me and I also have many cards in the cup board and she took out box full of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) smart cards. When asked why cards were not distributed..she said…”why should I give, it is GPs responsibility”! It was clear there was no coordination between Anganawadi teacher and GP. But it was poor who were deprived of benefit. I asked teacher, do you know what this card is. She said yes it is health card!! Do you know anything more than that? No…that is the only information given on the day of camp!!
Then team got divided and along with Mr Omkar I followed teacher to one house. Teacher first entered the house and said there are some people who want to collect information and she started walking out. I heard female voice from inside asking what information? Teacher screamed from outside.. “about that PAN card you collected from me last week”!! I said …what!! PAN card…no no we are not here to collect information about PAN card…teacher smiled and said “madam these people don’t understand” and she started walking away….I questioned myself…who does not understand? Does the teacher understand? How does she know they do not understand? Anyways it was time for me to get inside the house and sit with Omkar.
When Omkar showed RSBY smart card asked do you know about this card….informant said yes it is AADHAAR card (AADHAAR is Unique Identification number issued by Govt India) and when asked who told you that…Anganawadi teacher came and called us to take photo for AADHAAR card and she gave this card later. Informant showed some paper which was given on the day photo was taken; those papers were related to AADHAAR.
I thought on the day of camp did they take photos for AADHAAR and RSBY? Why was no information given to people about RSBY? Why did Anganwadi teacher call people for AADHAAR card? Did not get answer but thought may be people responsible to issue cards felt poor people will not understand or they did not want to give information? Not sure but I moved to next house thinking does different types of card means the same for poor…NO BENEFITS & NO INFORMATION?
The first annual conference of the Health Economics Association of India (HEAI) was held in New Delhi in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). This national conference on universal health coverage in India was held on 11th and 12th April 2012 at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi. The conference aimed to bring together experts from public, private and non-governmental sectors on a platform to discuss implementation challenges of the various recommendations narrated in the High-Level Expert Group report. Mr. Monteksingh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission) inaugurated the conference with an inspiring speech to the members of HEAI and shared his views on the future of healthcare in India. Speakers were invited across different sectors from across the country including Dr. Poonam Khetarpal (Deputy Director, SEARO-WHO), Dr. Nata Menabde (WHO-India) and Dr. Srinath Reddy (President – PHFI) who also shared their views on universal health coverage in India. The conference was followed by a one-day post-conference symposium (13th April 2012) that involved a few technical sessions on health economics.
On 20th march 2012, the youth center in KG halli, Bangalore which IPH has been instrumental in starting began on a happy note. The program was inaugurated by councillor Ms.Shaina Taj (ward No.30), special invitees – Dr. Aftab Ahmed, Dr Trupti Kulkarni, Mr.Rayappa, Health Inspector, BBMP.
The participants were Sangha members, School teachers, BBMP officials, Link workers from the Urban health centre and some local youth.
This youth centre was started as part of the urban health project initiative where we would like to provide basic computer training for free of charge, for the school dropout youths in the area with aim to empower them to seek jobs.
Another activity which we plan to do in the youth centre is Library, which is open for public use. In the long run we hope to empower some of the young people in the area and encourage them to widen their horizons.
Within a few days we find that the place is bustling with the sounds of shy young people who wish to read, and for the first time in their lives have a place down the road they can go to in order to enjoy a book.
The regional team meeting and workshop for the Health Inc Indian partners was held at Bangalore between 17th and 19th April 2012. It was attended by members of Institute of Public Health Bangalore (IPH) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) teams, along with representatives from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM) and London School of Economics – Health (LSE). The main agenda of the meeting was to determine the scope, area and extent of collaboration to be undertaken by the two regional partners, TISS and IPH. The meeting was conducted along with a two-day workshop on methods of data collection esp. orienting the role and use of qualitative methods in mixed methods research. The workshop was conducted by a mix of speakers from IPH and ITM, and covered various topics including conceptual frameworks for research, introduction into focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, transcription, coding and analysis. An interesting session on the role of theory in evaluation of complex interventions was conducted via teleconference by Bruno Marchal, from the Department of Public Health, ITM providing a realist evaluation perspective.