India

Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bangalore, India

Link to the website: http://www.iphindia.org

History of IPH

IPH is a relatively new organisation, founded in 2005. It is conceptualised as a value based, community-oriented public health institute. It is a not-for-profit organisation with a transparent governance structure. The vision of IPH is to work towards creating an equitable, integrated, decentralised and participatory health system within a just and empowered society. It is striving to accomplish its vision by carrying out policy advocacy, training, research and services.The founders of IPH are all public health professionals of national repute who have been disillusioned by the way health care is progressing in the country. This is an attempt by some of them to rectify the situation. It has a core faculty and is ably supported by a large group of experienced public health professionals from all over the country.

Mission

The mission of IPH is to develop public health at the core of health systems by carrying out research, training, consultancy and advocacy activities on Public Health issues.

Training in the field of Public Health

Training is the mainstay of IPH activities. IPH promotes a different paradigm in public health training. Rather than theoretical teaching, IPH concentrates on practical and on-the-job training.

1. The District Health Management Training Programme

The District Health Management Training Programme is our flagship training programme. It is a one year capacity enhancement programme for the district health teams. The unique characteristics of this programme are:

  •  A team approach rather than an individual approach
  • Experiential teaching
  • Field assignments
  • Mentoring

2. Short term training programmes

IPH also conducts various short term training programmes – mainly for the government officers on specialized topics. Some of these are:

  • A Five day programme on Health insurance for senior government officers
  • Training on tobacco controlWe are also planning to initiate other training programmes e.g. on research methodology, planning, quality of care etc.

3. E-learning

We hope to also introduce an e-learning course on district health management

Context information

The Indian public health scenario is very complex and dismal. The government is both the financer and provider of health care. However, because of inadequate funds (the government spends only 0.9% of the GDP on health), the government services are inadequate and of poor quality. To make matters worse, the Indian health system has systematically neglected public health. Thus while there are more than 230 medical colleges producing more than 23,000 clinicians every year, there are hardly any public health institutions. A study in 2003 stated that India needs a minimum of 10,000 public health professionals every year, but we produce only 260. The gap is enormous.So we have a scenario wherein the government health services are manned by clinicians with very little public health and management skills. Research is seen from a clinical or laboratory perspective rather than a health system perspective. Evidence from the field is scanty and rarely feeds into policy. It is in this context that IPH would like to bridge the gap.

For general information
ljiang@itg.be