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Latest Publications
Strengthening Public Health for Human Development
This publication is a collaborative effort of WHO-SEARO and VHAI. It is a contemplation of Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang’s work as a recognized public health professional, an outstanding health expert and an administrator. It is an endeavor to highlight his leadership and contribution in furthering the health of the people of the region. Dr. Samlee since 2004 campaigned for an increased collaboration among member countries through horizontal collaborations. He believes it imperative for each country to take into account the prevailing demographic, social and economic situation that looks at issues of availability and accessibility. He is a firm believer of the need to close the gaps and inequities in health by promoting conditions that promote health and self-reliance among all groups especially women and other vulnerable groups. He also believes in promoting health systems based on primary health care and a thorough understanding of social determinants of health. WHO- SEARO under the leadership of Dr Samlee has played a pro-active role as a coordinating international authority, striving to establish and maintain effective collaboration with the United Nations and other agencies.

This collection of his reflections provides his perspectives drawn from select speeches on various health concerns and is an invaluable resource to understand the principles and policies of WHO- SEARO’s work. It attempts to chart a roadmap for future, placing emphasis on a comprehensive and holistic strategy towards health, through vigorous human resource development and trained public health personnel who would be socially responsible for taking aggressive steps to ensure health for all.
Where There Is No Doctor
A resource guide for women’s health

All over the world, women rise to their daily work, care for their families and participate in community life. Too often, women must face these challenges while struggling against illness - lacking even basic information about their health.

Where Women Have No Doctor combines self-help medical information with an understanding of the ways in which poverty, discrimination and cultural beliefs limit women’s health and access to care. Originally developed with community-based groups and medical experts from more than 30 countries, this book is intended to help anyone understand, safely treat and prevent many of the health problems that affect women. This new Revised Edition is adapted for India and countries of the subcontinent looks at health and related issues largely from our own perspective. Simply written with appropriate local examples and over 1000 illustrations, in an easy-to-use format, Where Women Have No Doctor is an essential resource for any woman who wants to improve her health.

It is also an invaluable tool for the health worker and healthcare providers working in women’s health, who want more information about the problems that affect only women or those that affect women differently from men. It also helps women identify the obstacles to good health in their communities and shares ideas on how to overcome them.

Topics include recognizing health problems and dealing with them, understanding reproductive parts and functions, sexual health, abortion and family planning, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, birth and breast feeding, mental health, health concerns of girls, older women, health concerns of women who are physically challenged, communicable diseases and substance abuse, the politics of women’s health and gender concerns, rape and violence against women, rational use of medicines and basic health care skills and hygiene. This latest, revised edition retains the essence of the book as a healthcare handbook for women with updated information across all sections of the book. A section on women’s health in disaster situations has been added.

Keeping the Promise: Two Decades of India’s Battle with HIV/AIDS
Keeping the Promise: Two Decades of India’s Battle with HIV/AIDS, a seminal publication highlighting best practice interventions in India’s battle with HIV/AIDS was released today at a special event by Voluntary Health Association of India, a well-known, leading public health organization based in New Delhi. Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister released the book in the presence of a distinguished audience and media.

Ever since the first case was reported in 1986, the looming threat of HIV/AIDS further complicated the health situation in India. The size and complexity of our country, weak health infrastructure and disease surveillance system were a cause of huge concern. And for the next 15 years or so, this epidemic was on the rise among vulnerable populations across the country. After initial years of trial and error, India successfully launched a multi-pronged programme to contain the growing epidemic, which included national-level consultations with key stakeholders and public-private partnership initiatives.The UN Global Report 2010 recognized the fact that India has made remarkable progress in combating HIV/AIDS in the last decade by reducing the overall exposure to this disease

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Indian Systems of Medicine
The history of medicine is as old as the history of mankind. Each culture has its own well-established body of knowledge, beliefs and practices relating to the promotion of positive health. In India, the storehouse of such knowledge is very rich and time tested. The Indian System of Medicine covers both those systems which originated in India such as Siddha and Ayurveda as well as Unani and Homeopathy which originated abroad. In addition, it includes Yoga and Naturopathy which advocate self-realisation, spiritual pursuits, healthy lifestyles and exercises for curing diseases. All of them offer a holistic vision of health involving balance of the body, mind and spirit. Further, the knowledge and practices related to these systems are safe, cost-effective, acceptable and available.
A majority of people in India are the carriers of this traditional knowledge—birth attendants, bone-setters, spiritual gurus, scholars, traditional healers and millions of homemakers who implement such practices in one form or the other as home remedies and hand them down as family legacies.
This book on Indian Systems of Medicine is a must-read for public as well as private health professionals, students, health workers and general readers. It urges people to devise accessible, safe and cost effective mechanisms to correct imbalances in their daily lifestyles and maintain good health.
Right To Information - A Practical Guide
Right To Information - A Practical Guide attempts to provide readers with simple, straight-forward information about the Right to Information Act, passed by the Indian Parliament in 2005 and how it can be used by Indian citizens.

The book explains how the Act grants power to citizens to demand information from public institutions, government departments or any public body on procedures and decisions on matters of public concern. Through case studies and examples, the book is a guide on how the Act is a powerful tool in the hands of the common citizens to check nepotism, corruption, delay, red tape, impact of policy decisions for accountability and ensuring better governance.

The author, Shri Ashish Dey has consulted other important books and documents on RTI, news clippings, reports and information garnered from Central Information Commissions, State Information Commissions, CHRI and civil society groups. He has also consulted experts working on the subject to ensure that this publication is a practical, hands-on guide on RTI for activists, citizens, NGOs, community-based organizations and volunteers.
Glimpses of Innovations in Primary Health Care in South-East Asia
VHAI conceptualized, developed and produced this recent publication for WHO-SEARO:

About the book

The South-East Asia region is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population and accounts for nearly 30% of the global disease burden. Governments in the region are making concerted efforts for reducing the disease burden and improving the health of their people and the countries have adopted the primary health care approach for health development. This document gives a brief overview of some of the experiences in the delivery of primary health care in the Member States of the WHO South-East Asia region. The innovative and coordinated efforts of government, civil society and communities have made a significant impact.
The document showcases some of the important projects, programmes and groundbreaking innovations in Primary Health Care currently being implemented in Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste. It is an attempt to share successful models and practices from various South-East Asian settings with policy makers, international agencies, researchers, social activists, programme personnel and civil society for wider learning, experience sharing and forging the way ahead.
A Comprehensive Handbook on Disaster Management
With the number of disasters that India has, we should have a lot of expertise in handling disasters. But fact is, disasters tend to fade rapidly from public memory. Existing expertise on disasters in India is diffused and uncoordinated. Experiences and learnings are not institutionalized. Disaster-prone areas are well-known, yet when calamity strikes, people as well as authorities are unprepared. Despite suffering huge losses in terms of life and property, no preventive actions are taken or any training imparted to coordinate immediate relief activities. Very less has been learnt from the actions or initiatives in one part of the country in another. For instance, there are cyclone shelters in Andhra Pradesh, but none in Orissa, which is equally cyclone-prone. In addition, shelters should be constructed in a manner which has arrangements for storing drinking water and other essential life-savers.
This handbook on disaster management for communities is an effort in this direction. It combines a comprehensive understanding of disaster and its close links with poverty, hunger, development. It is based on learnings from real-life experiences. The guidelines and information can also be used to prepare training modules for NGOs working in disaster relief. It is hoped that this publication would be a useful tool for communities, individuals as well as institutions working in the area of disaster response and rehabilitation.
Tobacco Control and Training of Health Care Providers
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death globally, causing five million deaths a year, out of which close to 1 million deaths are in India. Studies and evidence exist to prove that tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancers, respiratory diseases, reproductive problems, green tobacco sickness etc. Developing countries like India face a double burden as apart from losing precious human resource, the cost of treating tobacco-related illnesses weigh down national resources.

Recent surveys have shown that a substantial proportion of medical students in India smoke or use tobacco products. In the current climate of disease prevention and health promotion, smoking behavior of future physicians and health providers has become increasingly significant. In addition, it is essential that health care professionals today address the issue of tobacco use and its hazards with patients and give cessation advice. Many health professionals do so, however, what is required is preventive advice against initiation of tobacco use and ways to quit.
As health practitioners of the future, it is critical that all medical students of any stream understand the concept of tobacco control and later, inculcate it in their practice as health care providers. For this, a multi-disciplinary integrated module on tobacco control and cessation techniques is required. Against this backdrop, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) has taken the initiative of conducting this critical study to integrate tobacco control into the larger public health domain for greater visibility and wider coverage. “Tobacco Control and the Training of Health Care Providers” recommends inclusion of tobacco control-related concerns in the curriculum of medical students, including nursing and other health care providers. It clinically justifies the need by highlighting the current level of knowledge of health care providers on smoking cessation techniques in India and the existing extent of teaching tobacco in the medical curriculum. We hope this study and the recommendations therein will be a constructive tool for policy makers in the backdrop of the National Tobacco Control Programme and towards mainstreaming of tobacco control in the training of health professionals, care providers and counsellors. We also hope that this study would be useful for health professionals and interested readers.
At the Crossroads of Life and Livelihood
The Economics, Poverty and Working Conditions of People Employed in the Tobacco Industry in India , brings forth the three different facets of the close link between tobacco and poverty through employment in the tobacco sector–tobacco farming, bidi rolling and tendu leaf plucking.

The objectives were to assess tobacco as a development issue, identify the key concerns associated with poverty, tobacco and tobacco-related employment in order to develop an evidence-based advocacy tool to counter industry arguments.

This study was conducted in four states of India–Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand– amongst the bidi rollers, marginal tobacco farmers and tendu leaf pluckers.
Recent Milestones in VHAI's Journey towards Tobacco Control in India 2010
Tobacco production, manufacture and consumption in various smoking and smokeless forms, is a serious public health concern in India. It has assumed epidemic proportions with strong implications on public health, as well as having far - reaching social and economic implications. VHAI is one of the pioneers in tobacco control at the national level, working simultaneously at the state level through its federation of 27 State Voluntary Health Associations (SVHAS) as well as at the grassroot level through the member networks of State Voluntary Health Associations. The Key Focus Areas in VHAI’s Tobacco Control campaign are:
  • Coalition building and networking
  • Policy advocacy, media advocacy and advocacy-focussed
  • Strengthening national and state-level resource centres
  • Creation of comprehensive smoke-free environments
  • Collaboration with the government for the effective implementation of COTPA
  • Monitoring and reporting of violations
  • Safer, alternative, viable livelihoods for bidi rollers, tobacco workers,
  • Development of advocacy materials
A number of landmark activities and developments have taken place in recent months which have not only strengthened the campaign but also enabled VHAI to take it forward
Other publications brought out during the year
  • Hamari Chitthi Aapke Naam on Health Promotion
  • VHAI Brochure
  • Brochure on Tobacco Control Activities
  • Health For the Millions – Four Issues
  •  Brochure on Bidi Film and Study
  • Health Care and Patients Rights (Konkani)
  • Health for the Millions
Health for the Millions

Health for the Millions is a pioneering health magazine published every two months since 1975. The magazine has completed more than 30 years in print, making it one of the oldest and most established public health publications in circulation today. Health for the Millions, currently, has a run of 1200 copies. The magazine has been, over the years, receiving a favourable response from its readers.

HFM brings together authentic, well-researched and original information collected from reliable sources. It provides insights into innovative and fascinating grassroots interventions as well as important policy changes, which affect the lives of millions. HFM is read by important people comprising policy makers and other health and development personnel in public and private sectors, various medical associations, universities, the industry, NGOs and CBOs in the country and abroad.
Being a theme-based journal, HFM has always tried to reflect on the prevalent public health issues of its time. We plan to continue with new innovations in HFM over the next year, while staying true to the integral character of the magazine.

Some of its recent issues focusing on the ‘Health and Development Status of the Country,’‘Financing of Health Care’ and ‘Mainstreaming AYUSH’, ‘Tobacco Control in India’ have received encouraging response from the policy makers, academia and CSOs.

Regular Features of HFM comprise of:
• Latest Health and Development News
• Health Issues in Parliament
• News from the State VHAs
• New Releases
• Cutting Edge
• Book Review
• Update on VHAI divisions
• Cutting Edge: Focuses on the new scientific developments in medicine and health
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Organizational Structure Aparajita Andamans KHOJ Project
to download the Brochure
VHAI and Tobacco Control Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Aparajita Orissa
ICDHI Link Workers Scheme Arunoday Project
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