Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan
To address the issue of recurrent heat waves in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, IIPHG conducted research to develop evidence-based heat preparedness plan and early warning system. These findings were encapsulated in policy briefs for key government agencies, health care professionals, outdoor workers, and slum communities, and used to synthesize the Heat Action Plan (HAP). A 7-day probabilistic weather forecast was also developed, which is used to trigger the plan in advance of dangerous heat waves. The pilot plan was implemented in 2013, and public outreach done through workshops, hoardings, pamphlets, and print advertisements. Evaluation activities and continuous improvement efforts are ongoing, along with plans to explore the program’s scalability to other Indian cities as Ahmedabad is the 1stSouth Asian city to address heat-health threat comprehensively.
The project title stands for “Evidence for Policy and Implementation: Intensifying efforts to achieving health related MDGs in 4 countries.” The overall aim of the project is to increase competencies to make evidence-informed policies and implement them to benefit disadvantaged groups in India, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. The project provided research based evidence to key policy makers and program managers through formation of a country/state specific network. The overall focus of the project was on how to improve the health outcomes for the disadvantaged populations. In India, the project focused mainly on maternal health and was limited to state of Gujarat. Five academic research publications and one policy brief were prepared and shared with concerned stake holders.
Health Facility Planning
To help improve the access of health facilities and reduce disparities in coverage, IIPHG mapped the coverage of existing health facilities (sub centres, primary health centres, and community health centres) in Gujarat to help the state’s Department of Health (which funded the program) identify locations where new facilities may be needed. The project also assessed underutilized PHCs and CHCs and the factors responsible for the same. In addition, the project suggested improvements in the physical design, service processes and human resource policies and practices at PHCs and CHCs.
MATIND is a European Union (EU) funded FP7 project managed by the department of Public Health Sciences/Global Health at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden in partnership with IIPHG. The main objective of the project is to evaluate and assess the impact of ChiranjeeviYojana (CY)in terms of a) health outcomes (maternal and perinatal), b) the influence of the incentive structure on outcomes, c) extended benefits of the program, d) private health sector contribution to outcomes and e) financial sustainability. The preliminary results suggest improved geographic access to emergency obstetric care as a result of CY in three project districts. Analysis of facility and community based survey data is going on.
The project looked for cleanliness practices, factor affecting cleanliness and effectiveness of cleaning practices in labour wards/maternity units of Gujarat. Novel methodology of Photo Elicitation was used along with need assessment, document review and walk-through, microbiological assessment and qualitative photo prompted interviews of stake holders and mothers. Findings show that basic facilities like water and electricity were available in all facilities; biomedical waste was segregated and disposed off as per the BMW rules in all facilities except one private facility; display of poster of hand washing, bio-med waste management, etc. were present in some government facilities; all facilities were visually clean, however, visually clean surfaces were not microbiological sterile; and all mothers were satisfied with the cleanliness of the health facilities.