Project CHAITRA Chamarajanagar Initiative for Technical Assistance, Research, and Action on COVID-19

Duration of project
(2021 to 2022)

Phase 1: Rapid Response 


To respond in whatever way necessary to support the district health system through the crisis from the 2nd wave of COVID-19.

Phase 2: Project CHAITRA 

Once the initial crisis response was implemented, we began the process of identifying gains and strategizing on how to sustain potential gains from the crisis response such that they strengthen district health systems. We identified specific gaps in the district health system that could benefit from technical assistance from public health organisations such as IPH and community-based NGOs such as VGKK. Based on this Project CHAITRA was conceived, tentatively for a period of one year and to continue it beyond after assessing its medium/long-term need.


To launch Project CHAITRA as an ongoing public health technical assistance to the district to improve responsiveness to COVID-19 in the coming year (June 2021-2022)


  • Unprecedented rise in cases in April 2021
  • This resulted in Government hospitals being overwhelmed, existing inadequate health services, and human resource shortages.
  • Limited private healthcare sector infrastructure in the district compared to Mysore/other districts.
  • Oxygen supply chains were inadequate due to the exponential rise in demand. On a single day, 24 deaths were reported allegedly due to failure of the oxygen supply chain.



Phase 1: Rapid Response

Key Activities

Most of the activities were taken up in crisis-response mode based on needs arising as we were providing on-ground support.

  1. On-ground design, coordination & technical assistance in setting up a triage system and referral/step-down protocols at Dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and dedicated COVID-19 health centers at district, taluk & hobli levels.
  2. Brought together civil society organisations, leveraging existing networks, social media to support the efforts.
  3. Procured relief materials and supplies for the COVID-19 dedicated hospitals and patients.
  4. Oxygen stabilization: Mobilised 253 Oxygen concentrators and 50 cylinders in coordination with several organisations that stepped forward. This facility is currently extended to home-based care (in partnership with Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, District Red Cross Society & the district Rotary Club).
  5. Decision-making support (periodic epidemiological bulletin) & technical inputs.
  6. Grama Panchayat Task Force capacity-building (esp. PG Palya & BR Hills).
  7. Partnered with the Zilla Panchayat and Zilla Budakattu Girijana Abhivrudhhi Sangha to conduct a rapid review of the COVID-19 situation among tribal people in the district esp. vaccination and cases.
  8. Supported establishing the state’s first tribal community-based COVID-19 care centre embedded close to tribal hamlets at Jeerigegadde Ashrama Shaale in Hanur taluk.

Phase 2: Project CHAITRA 

Components: 4 components are foreseen.

1. District health system strengthening:
a. Strengthen surveillance to create an early-warning system in line with state-of-the-art practices
b. Relevant capacity building based on needs for a particular cadre or facility.
c. Epidemiological support for decision making with data analytics, data dashboards, inputs into the district task force, 3rd wave preparation meetings, etc.
d. Field level assessments, gap analyses & audits for specific issues.
2. Community engagement in disease control and prevention efforts
a. Capacity building of GPTFs.
b. Develop customised awareness material regarding the illness, access to care, and vaccination.
3. Special focus on tribal health
a. Community mobilisation through community-partnered awareness activities
b. Community based vaccination micro-plans
c. Tribal vaccination coverage dashboard to monitor cases and vaccination progress
4. Strengthening decentralised COVID-19 care
a. tracking the Oxygen Concentrators that were deployed during Phase 1.
b. Relevant capacity-building & protocols at all facilities

Support for Phase 2

  • 2 full-time public health support staff to be located at district HQ; one for health systems (surveillance & planning) and another for community engagement (vaccination)
  • 3 senior public health staff from IPH & VGKK for 2 days a week support

Leveraging technical assistance from the upcoming Center for Training Research & Innovation in tribal health (CTRITH) led by IPH in collaboration with PHFI, JSS Medical College, Mysore Medical College & VGKK (foreseen from October 2021)

Roadmap for Phase 2 of Project CHAITRA

COVID 19 Training

To improve responsiveness to COVID IPH in collaboration with PCMH restore health conducted training sessions for frontline workers in Chamarajanagar district. To view the report please click HERE

Admissions open for 2022!

In this Certificate course in Implementation Research Methods (eIR) course, There is a need to understand implementation in the real-world context. There are many evidence-based interventions to improve health that have not been effectively delivered. The research agenda especially in the context of maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, etc. have been shifting and needs to shift from understanding the problem to actually intervening and testing solutions in health care systems. This Certificate course in Implementation Research Methods (eIR) course will improve the capacity of researchers to answer implementation research questions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!