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Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS - 2) India 2016-17

Highlights Released

The highlights of the second report of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS - 2) India 2016-17 have been released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The survey was conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with technical assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Health bodies welcome National Health Policy

 Health bodies today welcomed the Centre's move to bring in the National Health Policy but cautioned against the sector being left at the mercy of market mechanism. 

"The government needs to be careful in their enthusiasm to create favourable climate to engage with the private sector so that it does not put health in the market place," said Alok Mukhopadhyay, chairman of Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), which has 4,500 member organisations.
"Leaving the health sector at the mercy of market mechanism might compromise the intrinsic values of health care," he said. 
VHAI lauded the government for the policy which seeks to reach everyone in a comprehensive way to move towards wellness and aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost. 
It said the country has gone through a significant transition in its health challenges and the policy is extremely "timely and appropriate". 
VHAI said the policy's clear target for reducing infant, maternal and neo-natal mortalities is a much-needed step, given the current situation in these areas of public health. 
It said the government's commitment to tackle communicable diseases in a clear targeted manner will go a long way to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and is in tune with the regional commitment on disease elimination. 
"This good intention can only get translated into reality if we significantly improve the accountability and governance of the health sector," VHAI said. 


Statement by Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister Of Health And Family Welfare On 16th March, 2017 in both the Houses Of Parliament On The National Health Policy,

The Cabinet has approved the National Health Policy 2017. It is a huge milestone in the history of health sector in the country. The Health Ministry has formulated the National Health Policy 2017, under the guidance of the Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. The last National Health Policy was framed in 2002. So, this policy has come after a gap of 15 years to address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape. 


The Government of India adopted a highly participative and consultative approach in policy formulation process. The Draft National Health Policy was placed it public domain on 30th December, 2014. Over 5000 suggestions were received. This was followed by consultations with the State Governments and other stakeholders for further fine tuning of the policy. The policy was placed before the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the apex policy making body and was unanimously endorsed by it.


Highlights of Budget Speech 2017-18

 According to the Union Budget 2017 presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, the budget allocation for health ministry for 2017-18 is Rs 47,352.51 crore in comparison to allocation in 2016-17 of Rs 37,061.55 crore, an increase of 27.76 per cent from previous year.




Round table on


World Health Organization-South East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi and VHAI has documented the successful process of engagement of the communities, NGOs, CBOs as well as the stakeholders in Public Health Programmes, which results in evidence based successful outcome.

The purpose of this Roundtable was to endorse the role of communities,CBOs, NGOs and other stakeholders as essential in the elimination of communicable diseasess

The Public Health Experts from India, Bangladesh and Nepal actively participated in the Roundtable. 

The action plan emerging from the Roundtable is as follows:

1.   The Roundtable unanimously agreed that given the enormous challenge of meeting the objectives of SDG 3.3 “By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases”, proven, tried and tested approach of involvement of communities, CBOs, NGOs and the stakeholders will lead to significant gain in disease elimination front. This can be achieved without additional cost and more importantly will ensure sustenance of the gains. Happily, most countries of the Region have endorsed this approach in their developmental paradigm.


Release of the Report 'Reflection on Health Scenario of Punjab' at Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh on 9th December 2016

 A report on “Reflection on Health Scenario of Punjab” was released in Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27 by Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) along with Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP), Chandigarh on 9th December 201. A total of 50 people including health activists, public health professionals, academicians, media representatives and policy planners were presented in the event. This document systematically captures the causes of decline of the health status of Punjab and how to arrest them. 

45th Annual General Body Meeting of Kerala Voluntary Health Services held on 26th November 2016 at St. Alphonsa Hall, Kerala VHS Compound, Kottayam

The 45th   Annual General Body Meeting of Kerala Voluntary Health Services held at St.Alphonsa Hall, Kerala VHS’ Compound, Mullankuzhi, Kottayam,  on 26th November 2016 with following major sessions. 

1.Input session

2.Inaugural Session

3.Business Session

The proceedings of the event started at 9 a.m. on 26th November 2016 with registration of delegates. Thereafter President Dr.Benjamin Abraham hoisted Kerala VHS flag. While hoisting the flag President extended gratitude to Board Members, Staff and Member Organization for their support and Guidance in last one year to successfully perform his role as president.


The Seventh Session Of The Conference Of The Parties To The WHO Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

 India hosted the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) from 7th – 12th November, 2016 at India Expo Mart Ltd., Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The meetings, jointly organised by the Government of India and the Convention Secretariat.



Historic Judgement of Supreme Court following the writ petition of Voluntary Health Association of Punjab on the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques(Prohibition of Sex Selection)Act

 The Supreme Court issued the following directions:

“9.1. The Central Supervisory Board and the State and Union Territories Supervisory Boards, constituted under Sections 7 and 16-A of PN & PNDT Act, would meet at least once in six months, so as to supervise and oversee how effective is the implementation of the PN & PNDT Act.

MoU Signed between WHO-SEARO and VHAI in order to ensure effective involvement of communities, stakeholders and civil societies in Disease Elimination Programme under Sustainable Development Goals in South-East Asia

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal of making world free of infectious epidemics, both SEA region and the world as a whole need to move from a mindset focused on disease control to something far more ambitious and consequential ending communicable diseases as a public threat. This transition demands our efforts must be smarter, more rigorous and better resourced, sustainable with prime focus of reaching the unreached & marginalized population with active involvement of community, NGOs, CBOs and other important stakeholders.

42nd Annual General Body Meeting of Voluntary Health Association of India Held at Hotel Red Fox, Jaipur, 14th October 2016

 Voluntary Health Association of India organized its 42nd Annual General Body Meeting on 14th October 2016 at Jaipur. VHAI, State VHAs along with board members meet annually to discuss critical issues concerning health and development of our country, particularly from the perspective of their work in different sectors. Professionals from various walks of life – doctors, social activists, health worker, public health professionals who have given decades of service to the social developmental work constitute this group.


PRERNA - September -2016

Welcome to Second Issue of P.R.E.R.N.A.


PRERNA is a newsletter that highlights a cross section of Policies, Programme, Research, Resources,News and Action in Maternal and Adolescent Health.


Our goal in developing this publication is to keep everyone informed on some interesting developments around RMNCH+A.

Click to download

National Level Workshop on Health Promotion

VHAI organised a "National Level Workshop on Health Promotion" at Hotel Red Fox, Jaipur on 13th October 2016. The delegated from all State VHAs has participated in the workshop


For realizing the vision of Healthy India, Health promotion should be taken as an invariable, important reportable component of the complete primary care package. To achieve this there is need to strengthen the policy, priority expertise, personnel and systems. Therefore, a workshop was organised at national level with specific objectives which are as follows:

· To discuss and exchange information on the growing burden of NCDs and associated risk factors

·  To understand the importance of health promotion as a cost effective strategy to reduce the burden of NCDs

· To strengthen skills and competencies of public health professionals in the area of Health promotion & NCD prevention, with an emphasis on leadership and advocacy

· To share the experiences of health promotion work being carried out by VHAI and State VHAs at the ground level

·  To evolve a clear future action agenda for year 2016-2025 based on this workshop

Session I: Importance of Health promotion in combating the growing problem of Non-communciable diseases was discussed in detail by Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay, Chairman, Voluntary Health Association of India
Session II: Advocacy to combat the growing problem of health destroying products was shared by Ms. Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, Ms. Seema Gupta and Mr. Binoy Mathew
Session III: Concept of Health Promoting Schools was discussed by Dr. Nancepreet Kaur and School Health Promotion- A Kerala Model was discussed by Mr. Saju V. Itty, Kerala VHAI
Session IV: Health Promotion though public education was shared by Dr. D K Ray, Tripura VHA
Each session was followed by discussion.
The workshop ended with both of thanks by Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay

Welcome to the first issue of PRERNA

PRERNA is a monthly news-letter that highlights a cross section of Policies, Programme, Research, Resources, News and Action in Maternal and Adolescent Health. Our goal in developing this publication is to keep everyone informed on some interesting developments around RMNCH+A.


You can also participate by sharing updates and developments about your state and experiences. 


Please write to us with your thoughts and ideas and send an email at


Click here to view the first issue

Strengthening the Health Information System of India with special focus on Tuberculosis, Malaria, HIV & AIDS related mortality data analysis- A research project conducted by Voluntary Health Association of India supported by The Global Fund

The final report of the research study is available now

 Download the Executive Summary

 Write to us for e-copy of the report

MoU signed between Government of Andhra Pradesh and Voluntary Health Association of India at Chief Minister Office, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on 10 August 2016


A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Government of Andhra Pradesh and Voluntary Health Association of India on “Andhra Pradesh Clinical Specialist Insourcing Policy” at the Chief Minister Office, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on 10 August 2016 in the presence of Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Kamineni Srinivasas, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Medical Education, & Dr. Poonam Malakondaiah, Principal Secretary Health.

Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay, Chairman, VHAI and Dr. Subha Rao, Director of Medical Education signed the MoU on behalf of VHAI and Government of Andhra Pradesh respectively.

The purpose of Andhra Pradesh Clinical Specialist In-sourcing is to strengthen the health systems and services in Andhra Pradesh through innovative use of existing human resources.

VHAI launches free X-ray facility for OST patients


Jalandhar has become the first district in the state where the Intensified Tuberculosis Case Finding Pilot Project was launched among OST (opioid substitution therapy) patients today.


Launched at the Civil Hospital, the pilot project is aimed at diagnosing dormant TB among patients on opioid substitution therapy.


The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), New Delhi, has arranged for free digital X-ray facility of each registered OST patient at the OST Centre, Jalandhar.



Making Universal Health Care A Reality with Effective Public Health Legislation in India.


ICDHI's New Publication



Meeting on Strengthening The Health Information System of India with special Focus on Tuberculosis, Malaria, HIV and AIDS Related Mortality Data Analysis at Agartala Government Medical College on the 27th May 2016


The meeting was held at Agartala Government Medical College, Tripura on 27th May 2016 to discuss about the Final Draft Report of the a research project conducted by Voluntary Health Association of India supported by Global Fund- Strengthening The Health Information System of India with special Focus on Tuberculosis, Malaria, HIV and AIDS Related Mortality Data Analysis.”


At 11 am all the dignitaries and the participants of the meeting assembled in the council hall of the Agartala Government Medical College. The meeting was opened to be run after a brief introductory speech by the In Charge Principal of Agartala Govt Medical College. Dr. L.M. Nath, Former Director, AIIMS and the Independent Consultant of the project gave an introductory speech in which he mentioned the background of the evolution of this project. Dr. Subrata Baidya, Medical Superintendent of AGMC and GBP Hospital presented the mortality data of mortality among the patients admitted in AGMC and GBP hospital with Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV & AIDS trending 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013. No record regarding HIV & AIDS deaths in Hospital was found. Decreasing trend in mortality was found form 2007 to 2013 for both Malaria and Tuberculosis.


Then Dr. Shankar Chowdhury, the Principal Investigator of the project described the methodology and outcome of the pilot project. He shared the key results of the study

Key Results:


Tuberculosis: Incomplete hospital data and inconsistent trend was detected in the study. T.B. mortality was increased by 62% in Ludhiana from 2005 to 2013.


Malaria: Decrease in hospital admission rate in Indore and Tripura, which was reverse in Mumbai in 2013 in comparison to 2004-05.


HIV and AIDS: Decrease in mortality in Ludhiana, Erode, Bilaspur, Kalahandi and Tripura.


The session was opened for discussion by Principal In Charge of AGMC at 12:30 pm


After discussion Prof L.M. Nath concluded that inequitable outcome and output of reporting system giving better output in high input areas whereas the disadvantaged and inaccessible areas with higher mortality are not well covered by reporting systems. Lay reporting can be an alternative tool for data collection in such areas. Hypothetical spectrum of disease diagnosis has to be considered and specific definitions of disease are to be framed for quality reporting. Concentration on proportion and goals often lead to false positive result of public health intervention. Issues like industrialization and Medical migration are concern and also an indicator of poor public health coverage in the baseline habitat.

World Malaria Day observed at the TC Girls Higher Secondary School at Guwahati on April 25, 2016



The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), along with Caritas India and in collaboration with the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program, observed World Malaria Day at the TC Girls’ Higher Secondary School at Guwahati on April 25, 2016


On the eve of the Day, the State public health consultant for vector-borne diseases, Dr Keshav Barman, led sessions on malaria in a bid to enhance students’ knowledge about the disease and the ways to prevent it. The session was followed by a quiz competition among students on malaria and dengue.


The session ended with the students pledging to work for prevention of this dreaded disease. They took the pledge by signing on the poster brought out on the occasion. The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day is ‘End malaria for good’.

Health Camp Organized by J&K VHA at Mini Maternity Hospital, Pandrethan Srinagar on 15 March 2016

J&K VHA organized a health camp at Mini Maternity Hospital, Pandrethan on 15th March. 2016. 271 patients were examined and provided free medical treatment. A team of doctors (Dr. Shabnam and Dr. Sabha) provided the services during the camp under the close supervision of Dr. Mumtaza Andrabi, Zonal Medical Officer. It received adequate coverage on Radio and TV besides print media. 





Induction Training : 'For Urban Intervention Component under Project Axshya'

An induction training for Urban Intervention Component under Project Axshya was conducted on 23rd and 24th February,2016 at Tagore Hall, Voluntary Health Association of India, New Delhi.The training was organized at VHAI office, New Delhi. It was led by programme officer Dr.P.C.Bhatnagar and technical officerDr.B.M.Prasad from the UNION. The training was organised for the newly recruited staff under project axshya for urban intervention. The new team comprises of a medical consultant Dr.Neha Taneja and two urban coordinators Dr. Ashish Jain and Mr.Saleem Malik.

The purpose of the training was to brief the staff on urban component under project axshya.It included a description of the project axshya, the need for introducing urban component under project axshya, the various activities to be conducted under urban intervention, role of qualified private practitioners, private hospitals and private laboratories under urban intervention, targets to be achieved, reporting formats and the roles and responsibilities of the staff members. Videos on tuberculosis care and control were shown along with power point presentations. The training was concluded with an active discussion on various strategies to meet the targets laid down under urban intervention.

MOHFW issued public notice on 85% pictorial warning on all tobacco products

 The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified the new Pictorial Health Warnings vide GSR 727(E) of Gazette Notification dated 15th October, 2014 for mandatory display of new specified health warnings on all tobacco products. 

As per the Rules, the notified health warnings, covering 85% of the principal display area, shall be displayed on all tobacco products packages from 1st April, 2016. Any person engaged directly or indirectly int he production, supply, import or distribution of cigarette or any other tobacco products shall sure that all tobacco products packages shall have specified pictorial health warnings as prescribed in the aforesaid notification. 

International Gandhi Award for Leprosy 2015

 International Gandhi Award 2015 were presented to Dr. Arturo C. Cunanan, Program Director, Culion Leprosy Control, Philippines & Dr. R.K.Mutatkar, a medical anthropologist for their excellence work on Leprosy elimination by Chief Guest Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Hon’ble Vice President of India at Up-Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on 30 January 2016. 

Dr. B. S. Garg, President of VHAI & Director, GMLF was convener of the event organized by Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation. VHAI’s employees also participated in the event. 

Juvenille Justice Act 2015 imposes penalty on 1 lac for sale of tobacco to minors

 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 of Ministry of Women and Child Development came into force 15th January, 2016. This is an Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to children in need of care and protection by catering to their basic needs through proper care, protection, development, treatment, social re-integration, by adopting a child-friendly approaches. This Act recognises the harmful effects of tobacco and tobacco industry’s sinister design to specifically target vulnerable children as their new consumers. 

In a path breaking amendment to curb the growing menace of tobacco, the act has modified section 77 as follows - 

It is an offences against a child, if a person gives or causes to be given, to any child any intoxicating liquor or any narcotic drug or tobacco products or psychotropic substance, except on the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend up to one lakh rupees

VHAI-Aparajita conducted a seminar on lifestyle related diseases

 VHAI-Aparajita organized a seminar on "Non-communicable Diseases-Cause and Prevention" at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 on 26 December 2015. Dr. Avijit Roy (Dy. Director, Health, Andaman) addressed the students on the causes and prevention of Non-communicable Diseases like Hypertension, Type II diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Digestive disorders, Blindness, Deafness etc. Special emphasis was laid on the adoption of the healthy lifestyle to combat the growing menace of life related diseases. 


organized seminar to address the growing concern on Kerala’s ow mortality and high morbidity, declining outcome from "Kerala Health Model"

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2015

VHAI & Philips joins hand for Airtel New Delhi Half Marathon 2015 on on Nov 29th

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