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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 123-125  

Strengthening partnership towards excellence in public health

Secretary General, Indian Public Health Association and Deputy Director Sr Gr (Scientist F), Head, Division of Epidemiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, India

Date of Web Publication14-Oct-2013

Correspondence Address:
Dipika Sur
Secretary General, Indian Public Health Association and Deputy Director Sr Gr (Scientist F), Head, Division of Epidemiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.119805

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How to cite this article:
Sur D. Strengthening partnership towards excellence in public health. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:123-5

How to cite this URL:
Sur D. Strengthening partnership towards excellence in public health. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Oct 6];57:123-5. Available from:

It gives me great pleasure to write the Editorial for the conference issue of the Indian Journal of Public Health. The South East Asia Regional Public Health Conference and the 57 th All India Annual Conference of Indian Public Health Association (IPHA) was held at the Science City in Kolkata from February 1 to February 3, 2013. The conference was primarily focused on "Strengthening Partnerships towards excellence in public health - One Vision, One Voice." Keeping the current public health movement in Southeast Asia in mind, this multi-fraternity collaborative theme was the need of the hour. In recent years, the public health scenario in India is getting complicated by the interplay between existing health concerns and emerging complex challenges. Thus the issue of innovative solutions was of paramount importance to ensure an inclusive development toward fostering an efficient and effective framework consisting of evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM), knowledge management (KM), and capacity building.

Participation of more than 1000 public health professionals and experts from various regions of Southeast Asia made the conference a grand success. The enlightening speech of Dr. Amartya Sen toward prescribing the potential solution for the existing inequality in Indian public health was an eye-opener. All the interactive scientific sessions emphasized upon the need for the collective movement through efficient exchange of views and collaborative knowledge dissemination by multiple organization working in the field of public health.

On this occasion, in the "Dr. B.C. Dasgupta Memorial Oration," Dr. Chandrakant S. Pandav, Professor and Head, Centre For Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, presented the "Evolution of Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme in India: A journey of 5000 years." In this scrupulous assessment, he described the pathway toward developing a successfully implemented national health program. In this process he highlighted the necessity of developing dynamic two-way partnerships between stakeholders, community, and institutions through advocacy and mentorship to attain sustainability.

The need of efficient mentoring was also reiterated by Dr. Atul Kotwal, Director, Armed Forces Medical Services, New Delhi in his Dr. J E Park Memorial Oration on "Innovations in Teaching/Learning Methods for Medical Students: Research with mentoring" where he described the hands-on approach that is followed in the Dept of Community Medicine while teaching research methodology to the medical students of Armed Forced Medical College, Pune. He pointed toward the true spirit of mentoring by providing supervision and guidance to the students while conducting research studies with built in quality assurance and sound methodology.

Dr. J. K. Sehgal Memorial Oration was presented by Dr. Dinesh Agarwal, National Program Officer, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New Delhi. During this oration, he spoke on the role of public health professionals in addressing health inequalities in India and the need of multi-fraternity collaboration was emphasized.

Dr. G. Anjaneyulu Oration, on "Quality Management in Health Care" was delivered by Dr. S. S. Dodwad, President IPHA Maharashtra branch. He stressed on the importance of commitment and persistence while ensuring the bottom line that quality is the top priority in the training and delivery of healthcare. Interdisciplinary collaborative effort was revealed as the key to achieve this goal. This collaborative effort thus can help in designing an in-built quality assurance and monitoring system within the healthcare delivery system.

Dr. Dipta Kanti Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Bankura Sammilani Medical College, presented on "Status of Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness in Uttar Dinajpur district, West Bengal," for which he won the Dr. P. C. Sen Best Paper Award. He mentioned the observation that birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR) is crucial in averting maternal morbidity and mortality. The researchers found that appropriate preparedness in health system along with the competence and motivation of the health workers are critical for ensuring the awareness and preparedness among pregnant females and their family members regarding the delivery of the baby. This observation also remained very much in line with the conference theme expressing the need for the integrated approach of public health delivery.

In the conference, there were several other interesting technical sessions on issues of public health importance as well as free paper sessions where young upcoming scientists were encouraged to present their findings.

A technical session, titled "Enteric and diarrheal diseases: protect, prevent and cure" was supported by Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) where eminent speakers from PATH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Christian Medical College Vellore, and Government of India presented their experiences and evaluations on enteric infections.

Another technical session was on "MDG 5: Reality, progress, experience and initiatives to accelerate progress" where speakers from several national and international academic and research organizations narrated their opinions regarding the progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 in India and suggested potential solutions for bridging the identified gaps in reproductive health. This interactive session was sponsored by World Health Organization South East Asia Regional Organization (WHO-SEARO).

A technical session was supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on "Public health Research Initiatives by ICMR," and eminent scientists narrated the translational research endeavors of ICMR.

The session on "Primary Prevention of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus: Dream and Reality" was supported by Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes. Scientists from our neighboring country presented their observations and concerns during this engrossing discussion on the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

A session on "Cholera vaccine as a Public Health tool" was supported by Sanofi Pasteur where efficacy and epidemiology of different oral cholera vaccines were presented by renowned experts of the related field where the role of oral cholera vaccine as a public health tool seemed to be of paramount importance.

During a discussion on "Scaling up Primary Immunization in India," supported by PATH, new insights in innovative modalities were generated for the scaling up of the coverage of immunization with existing, new, and underutilized vaccines.

In a panel discussion session supported by WHO-SEARO, while speaking on "Strengthening Public Health Education in Southeast Asia" panelists reiterated the need of multi-organizational collaborations for efficient and effective delivery of public health education.

Management strategies of common chronic disorders like hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were highlighted in the technical session on "Diabetes - the emerging epidemic" supported by US Vitamin while in another session on "Visceral Leishmaniasis: Current Therapies" sponsored by PATH-OWH, the treatment option for Visceral Leishmaniasis were discussed.

UNFPA sponsored the session on "Reproductive Health within framework of Universal Health Care" during which, coverage and quality of the existing reproductive healthcare delivery in India were discussed, the need was assessed and planning to incorporate alternate modalities with the comprehensive approach to reproductive health within the framework of universal healthcare was explained.

The next session was on the "Partnerships for Delivery of Public Health Programmes and Services," which was supported by Jamshetpur Utilities and Services Company Ltd. - a TATA Enterprise. In this session, the role of partnership and interoperability between governmental, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and corporate were emphasized and researchers presented their experiences with such kind of collaborative service delivery approaches in diverse fields including reproductive and child health, education, sanitation, and waste management, etc., in different parts of our country.

In the International Pregnancy advisory Services sponsored session on "Increasing Access to safe Abortion Services: A scalable model of service delivery," eminent speakers from different states of India presented their experiences with several strategies to scale up the access to safe abortion services.

In another very interesting session supported by Hindustan Unilever while exchanging the views on "Challenges of Hygiene in Home and everyday life settings: A shared responsibility for infection control," experts emphasized the need to develop insights into the perception and practice regarding infection control and the role of different public health programs in achieving the goals pertaining to these needs.

On the concluding day, the session on "Strengthening Partnerships for Elimination of Hidden Hunger in India" was supported by International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders where the role of building partnership among governmental and NGOs for the elimination of iodine and other micronutrient deficiency disorders was highlighted.

Sanofi Oncology supported session on "Prevention of NCDs - the Evidence Base" was organized on the same day. In this session, prevention strategies for several noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, and cardio-vascular diseases were discussed.

Later, a discussion on "Maternal Health - Quality for care for safe motherhood" was supported by Dept. of Reproductive Health, Government of India.

The support provided by these research findings presented in the conference corroborated with the theme of the conference and could establish the relevance and importance of partnerships in public health for a better quality of delivery. The insights provided by these articles and discussions are thus likely to pave the pathway for the better public health delivery and management in the near future.


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