Dr Praveenkumar Aivalli blog titled, ” What I learnt from my first health system research project ” published in BioMed Central
Starting my first research project
Back in 2013, I just stepped out of my university after getting my Master of Public Health degree, in no time I was given an excellent opportunity to work on a World Health Organization (WHO) funded health system research project in one of the reputed public health research institutes in Bangalore. It was the first research project of my public health career and as a new bee, I was buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm about the study.
The project was on improving NCD (Non Communicable Diseases) care at primary health centers in one of the districts in south India. It was a quasi experimental study trying to understand the impact of health system interventions through a baseline and end line household and facility surveys.
For better coordination, exposure and learning, I was placed in the study district. Having completed most of my education in the country, it was not that difficult for me to understand our country’s health system.
We visited more than 1000 families to get data on NCD care at the rural level, health seeking behaviors of NCD patients and their out pocket expenditures for NCD care.
The theoretical explanations from classrooms started fitting in its notches when I got exposed to the field during the early days of the project. I got the hang of the project fairly quickly and began preparing for the baseline survey in the year of 2013.
We visited more than 1000 families to get data on NCD care at the rural level, health seeking behaviors of NCD patients and their out pocket expenditures for NCD care. We also visited primary health centers and private pharmacies in the area to collect information on medicine availability.
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