In order to continuing fruitful collaboration between VHAI and WHO-SEARO and coordinating their efforts in the South-East Asia Region as well as collaborating closely in matters of common concern, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between VHAI and WHO-SEARO during last year. This has facilitated the attainment of the set objectives of VHAI and WHO-SEARO. As outlined in the MoU, the areas of activities for future cooperation are as follows:
Health policy research and policy interventions to promote a cost-effective promotive and preventive health care system
Advocacy, communication and awareness raising activities with policy and opinion makers, media, civil society and communities on health related issues
Collaboration in the planning, organization and implementation of projects and programmes of mutual interest
Dissemination of health information
Cooperating in the organization and conduct of courses, research, seminars, workshops, and symposia related to matters of common
Health Promotion and Prevention activities
Partnership in Health
WHO-SEARO constituted South-East Asia Primary Health Care Innovations Network (SEAPIN), which has been in operation since August 2010, to support the efforts of Member States in strengthening their health systems through Primary Health Care approach. The Secretariat of this Network has been moved to VHAI, New Delhi from August 2013 onwards for a term of 3 years. Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay, Chairman, VHAI is the convener of the Secretariat. VHAI is maintaining the SEAPIN website (www.seapin.org) with regular updates of Primary Health Care innovations in SEAR Countries.
The Chairman participated in the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion (8GCHP), Helsinki, Finland in June 2013, co-organized by the WHO, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland (MSAH). Besides presenting a paper, the Chief Executive directed a documentary film, “Health in All Policies” which was screened in the conference as a Curtain Raiser.
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia organized a Meeting of Experts on “Health in all Policies in South-East Asia” at Bangkok. The Chairman, VHAI attended this meeting and shared his experiences in order to develop a Regional Framework on Health in All Policies. The consultation deliberated in detail on regional situation and progress in the intersectoral/multisectoral action and mechanisms that drive health in all policies to address health equity and promote health of populations.
As one of the major joint collaborative effort between VHAI and WHO, a Regional Consultation of NGOs and Civil Society were held at New Delhi on the theme ‘Post 2015 Health Development Agenda’ on 29th July 2013. The general objective of the Consultation:
To develop a shared understanding and a regional perspective among NGOs and civil society organizations in the South-East Asia Region on the positioning of health in the post- 2015 development agenda
Reviewing the current status of the MDGs in the region
Discussing the role of health in achieving poverty reduction, sustainable development and human well-being
Reaching a regional understanding and agreement of the role of NGOs in carrying out the post-2015 health development agenda.
The Chairman, VHAI was invited by WHO for presenting a paper on the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by WHO, Geneva. A short documentary film “Promises to Keep”, directed by Chief Executive VHAI which was screened in the conference as a Curtain Raiser
Mr. Alok Mukhopadhyay, Chairman, VHAI continues to be a Member of the Expert Advisory Committee of the European Union supported project on “Research & Development for a new methodology to evaluate and monitor health related EU-funded interventions in cooperation partner countries (EVAL-Health)”.
The Chairman, also continues to be a Member of the Board of Trustees, International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), Paris.
VHAI in collaboration with York Institute for Health Research, York University, Canada, implemented a research project, entitled “Health and Empowerment through better sanitation: Promoting awareness at the grassroots level” in the State of Rajasthan with a goal of engaging government, business and local community members to improve sanitation facilities and to develop a sustainable sanitation management plan with shared activities.
The Chief Executive, Ms Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, spearheads tobacco control advocacy on behalf of the VHAI network. She leads the VHAI Tobacco Control programme supported by the Bloomberg Initiative, which focuses on advocacy (policy, political, legal and media), capacity building and supporting enforcement at central and state level across several settings in India.