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VHAI Latest Publications
Health-related NGO programmes up scaled by government: Exemplary initiatives in the South-East Asia Region

This publication is a part of the continuing collaboration between WHO and VHAI. Keeping in view, the diversity of the South-East Asia Region, it was proposed that a document is developed on exemplary programmes initiated by NGO’s, which have been up scaled by Government in the region. The role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) worldwide has been assuming greater significance in the last decades. They have been important players for social change in Asia, Africa and Latin America. As governments are increasingly challenged with lack of human resources, technical know-how and grass root-level implementation, NGOs are being seen as catalysts in policy innovation and social interventions. They have stepped in across many countries, to work actively in helping implement development programmes and shaping policies.

Many initiatives by NGOs, particularly in South-East Asia, have become successful models and provided lessons and best practices which have been replicated and up scaled by Governments. Some examples are the ASHA programme and the Khoj initiative in India and the BRAC initiative in Bangladesh. Understanding the processes involved and the challenges faced in implementing these programmes provide valuable lessons for all stakeholders. This publication documents the processes, methodologies and challenges involved in a few outstanding examples of national health and development programmes in the South-East Asia region along with case studies. It should prove to be an invaluable resource for development workers, policymakers, NGOs, health workers, students and the general public.

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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