October 21st, 2007
Following are extracts from the web pages of the Public Health Foundation of India (http://www.phfi.org/home.asp).
What is public health?
Public health has often been defined as a science dealing with the determinants and defense of health at the population level, while clinical medicine deals with multiple maladies and their remedies at the level of the individual patient.
Public health aims to elucidate and influence the social, cultural and economic determinants of health as well as to study and structure health systems as efficient channels for health services delivery. Public health thus is a discipline built on an academic tradition of inquiry involving research, teaching and professional practice to prevent disease and promote health in populations.
Why a foundation for public health?
As India experiences a rapid health transition, it is confronted both by an unfinished agenda of infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies and unsafe pregnancies as well as the challenge of escalating epidemics of non-communicable diseases. This composite threat to the nation’s health and development needs a concerted public health response that can ensure efficient delivery of cost-effective interventions for health promotion, disease prevention and affordable diagnostic and therapeutic health care.
These health challenges urgently require capacity building for health research, policy development and analysis, programme development and evaluation, health systems organization, models of health care financing and operationalized scientific research.Education and training in public health needs to be inter-disciplinary in content so that the pathways of public health action are multi-sectoral. Public health education must include subject areas like epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral sciences, health economics, health services management, environmental health, health inequities and human rights, gender and health, health communication, ethics of health care and research. The interventions proposed need to be evidence based, context specific and resource sensitive.
The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is a response to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health. It is a public private partnership that was collaboratively evolved through consultations with multiple constituencies including Indian and international academia, state and central governments in India, multi & bi-lateral agencies and civil society groups in India.
The mission of PHFI is to benchmark quality standards for public health education; establish public health institutes of excellence based on these standards; to undertake meaningful public health research; and to advocate for public policy linked to broader public health goals.
The PHFI is working towards building public health capacity in India by:
* Establishing 5 -7 new institutes of public health over the next 6 years;
* Assisting the growth of existing public health training institutions/departments and facilitating their evolution into major institutes of public health;
Directors: Indian Institutes of Public Health (Hyderabad, Delhi and Gandhinagar)
The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is seeking three dynamic and enterprising public health experts as Directors of its upcoming Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPH) at Hyderabad, Delhi and Gandhinagar. The first IIPH is to come up by July 2008 and the other two will begin operations in 2009.
Following are excerpts from an yahoo article that gives an idea of the cost involved in making an IIPH.
THE Gujarat government has decided to set up an Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) under the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) project, initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.
This will churn out healthcare professionals and also to establish a strong national research network of public health, assisting in the growth of existing public health training institutions.
The State Cabinet, in its meeting on Wednesday, had cleared a proposal to allot 50 acres of government land for the Rs 140-crore IIPH at Chiloda near Gandhinagar. The institute has proposed a deemed university status.
An abridged version of an memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the PHFI and the state government had been signed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January, 2006, for setting up of the institute.
The work on the institute is expected to begin in a month or so. When ready, the institute will offer degree courses, including a two-year master course in public health, one-year diploma in public health management and a three-year BSc course in public health.
For students from Gujarat, 10 per cent seats will be reserved for the Master Public Health (MPH) courses.
One-year diploma in public health (DPH) and other short-term courses will also be designed specifically for government servants and a subsidised fee structure for such candidates will be worked out.
… The official said the institute will also offer several short-term programmes in regard to in-service training in public health issues.
The setting up of the institute will certainly help the state in getting resource support and further strengthen health services for all sections of the population.
Of the estimated project cost of Rs 140 crore, Rs 80 crore will be used for construction, Rs 10 crore for learning resources and Rs 50 crore to cover operating deficit in the first 3 to 5 years.
Gujarat’s share will be Rs 25 crore, while the Public Health Foundation of India will provide the rest of the funds for the institute, the official added.
A newkerala.com article dated Sept 26th 2007 mentions that the fourth IIPH will be in Shillong, Meghalaya. A PIB release of last year mentions that there will be an IIPH in Mohali, Punjab. Hence, the five announced for IIPH will be in Hyderabad, Delhi and Gandhinagar, Shillong and Mohali.