DoNER initiates 'Swasth Uttar Purv' to boost healthcare in northeast

| Updated: Mar 24, 2017 19:16 IST

By Chandrakala Choudhury New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Improvement and development in the health sector of the northeast region remains the major concern as in yet another move by the centre a project named 'Swasth Uttar Purv' Healthy North East has been launched by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern region in the capital. Aiming to bring about change in the healthcare scenario and to bridge the northeastern region for health transformation as well as enhance capacity building, the much importantly initiated project has been undertaken by the Public Health Foundation of India supported by the ministry of DoNER. Despite the region being the most vibrant in the country, it lags behind its health indicators.Negligency and lack of awareness on health issues and lack of infrastructure and manpower has shrunken the overall development of the region. "The DoNER has provided funds to the PHFI for strengthening the health system in the North East region. We do recognize that North East is an area which needs a lot of work in the health sector. We will be acting as a technical support in the entire project," said K. Srinath Reddy, President of PHFI during the launch. The momentous ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries, as well as people from all walks of life witnessed the launch of the much needed health project. The initiative will help catalyze trained workforce by imparting appropriate training in delivering healthcare. This project aims at building broadband capacity within the health services, civil society, general public, and school system as well as within the media in order to deliver a variety of services ranging from both technology enabled health services as well as health information which can be transformational in terms of empowering people. Under the initiative, the PHFI and DoNER will provide technical assistance to the state governments of northeast and civil society partners for implementation of public health projects and programmes in the region. The initial duration of the project is for two years. This effort will be implemented in the first phase in four states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram and Assam. However, after successful demonstration of these efforts in phase 1, the activities will be scaled up to other states. "As we are working with PHFI for building capacities, we also intend to work with other organizations like the VHAI to see on school education and whether is it possible to have modules on school education. We are planning to work with the youth clubs, NSS teams, so that they go around and create health awareness," said Ministry of DoNER Secretary Naveen Verma to ANI. "What we want to do this to look at those states where the health indices are not good like Assam, Meghalaya and other states where the rate of cancer patients are high like Mizoram etc. May be we will have an assessment of the existing capacity people have and see what are the gap areas,"Verma added. Later, speaking to ANI, Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI said, "Northeast is a very enlightened region where people are culturally advanced quite literate but unfortunately health indices are not very good indeed. They are lagging behind in other sectors as well and this is partly because of lack of access to services and also because of lack of adequate managerial capacity within the health system for design and delivery of services as appropriate to the northeast with the required outreach and effectiveness". "The health information which is required by even the literate communities of the region for protecting, promoting and preserving their own health is not readily available. This is a broadband initiative which looks at multiple areas of capacity building," he added. When asked about PHFI first step to be taken for proper implementation of the project Reddy told to ANI, "The first step is to start working with the health professionals who are already positioned in the Government health services and trying to increase their management ability through a variety of training programmes, to identify primary health care providers and impart training which will enable their ability to detect and prevent and appropriately manage the variety of chronic conditions." "We are also planning to work with school teachers over a period of time to enable them to impart better school health programme with a strong focus on health promotion and disease prevention. In certain parts of the northeast, we are looking at extensive cancer related education so that cancer prevention can be done," he added. Under the initiative, the PHFI will conduct various awareness generation programmes and cancer workshops. (ANI)