India carries the highest burden of TB in the world – an estimated ~3 million new cases and a staggering ~ 420,000 deaths are reported annually and Government of India (GOI) has set itself an ambitious goal of making India TB free by 2025 and USAID is also committed globally to end TB and initiated the USAID-India End-TB Alliance announced at the UN General Assembly in September 2018. In this area, PAHAL is designing and delivering various initiatives aligned towards the eradication of TB.
One such initiative is accelerating the promotion of the Corporate TB Pledge (CTP), a joint initiative of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and USAID/India to catalyze the corporate sector with its vast pool of resources, management skills and reach among workers & communities to play vital role in TB prevention and care.
In the current situation where the globe is struck with a pandemic, COVID-19 cases, the Government of India (GOI) is taking measures focused on strengthening health systems for equitable service delivery to address current and future needs. At the national level, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is leading the overall response to COVID-19. The MoHFW is focusing on improving health system preparedness through facility and infrastructure strengthening, risk communication, and trainings of government health providers, amongst others.
In addition to the measures taken by the Government of India, National Health Authority (NHA) through Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is uniquely positioned to provide need-based support during the COVID-19 crisis. To its advantage, NHA has currently 11,000+ government and 9000+ private facilities empanelled and has access to other private sector providers desirous of contributing to GOI efforts.
COVID-19 being a respiratory tract infection caused by a newly emergent coronavirus, makes those with pulmonary TB having any damage to lungs possibly more vulnerable. Additionally, the symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to those of TB, with fever, cough and shortness of breath, but there is usually a difference in the time frame that the symptoms occur.
As per World Health Organization (WHO) it is anticipated that people ill with both TB and COVID-19 may have poorer treatment outcomes, especially if TB treatment is interrupted. There are other similarities between the two as well like preventive measures of wearing a mask, maintaining hygiene and associated stigma, both being communicable diseases. Further, in a recent development, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), has allowed use of diagnostic machines used to test drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) for conducting Covid-19 tests.
National Health Authority (NHA) has reached out to the USAID to seek its technical expertise in rapidly establishing a financing mechanism that will enable it to respond to COVID-19 and other emerging public health threats. The approach is focused on using blended finance to meet the additional resource requirements of stakeholders along the entire value chain, from commercial validations of technology, manufacture and supply chain, to patient care, follow up and awareness building. It is proposed to structure and manage a blended finance facility for this purpose under NHA’s leadership.
Given, PAHAL’s work in blended finance solutions and given the need for continued focus on TB prevention and care during COVID-19 pandemic, it presents a unique opportunity for the project to provide support to NHA in this endeavour. In this collaboration, PAHAL can bring in technical expertise and experience in communicable disease management, risk communication and blended financing. PAHAL can also support in mobilizing Corporate TB Pledge members which currently stand at close to 100 to additionally work in area of COVID-19.
PAHAL is USAID/India and IPE Global’s flagship innovation in financing platform focused on private sector involvement in primary healthcare provision. The primary objective of PAHAL is to increase access to affordable primary healthcare to 10 million urban poor and reduce out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) for Urban Poor for Primary Health Care by 30% in program areas. In order to achieve the above objectives, amongst other initiatives IPE Global, under USAID’s Cooperative Agreement is implementing a project titled “Ending Preventable Maternal & Child Deaths Among Urban Poor Project” also known as “Partnerships for Affordable Healthcare Access and Longevity” (PAHAL). The project is closely aligned with Government of India’s focus on ending tuberculosis (TB).
Government of Rajasthan has been very proactive in getting its High Delivery Load facilities as LaQshya certified. Recently, District Hospital, Sirohi in Rajasthan was certified as a LaQshya facility by Government of India. NIPI is providing technical and programmatic support to the facility and state stakeholders in the process of certification.
UNICEF India has commissioned a Real Time Evaluation (RTE) to assess and improve the relevance, coverage, effectiveness, and efficiency of its COVID-19 crisis response in 5 Indian states, by providing immediate feedback and recommendations for improvement across UNIECF’s six pillars in India.
Education has changed drastically during the pandemic with the advancement of e-learning to offer students the much required digital exposure. The Government of Meghalaya has initiated online learning in the state as part of the learning campaign ‘Bharat Padhe Online' to mitigate the impact of the crisis in the education system.
Management of the crisis requires an integrated approach with an overarching strategy at the Central and sub-national levels. In response to the crisis, Smart Cities have stepped up to the task of sharing technical & technological resources to attain the larger goal of containing and reducing the impact of COVID-19.
The sudden onset of the global crisis has imposed restrictions on educational institutions across India resulting in the suspension of classrooms and initiation of online classes. As part of the response measure, Government of Meghalaya has introduced e-learning across the state to ensure uninterrupted learning process.
To support the strengthening of MoHFW's COVID-19 response, Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), as a responsible development partner, provided technical & other programmatic support to various states & union territories of the country.
The team conducted holistic set of activities to reduce the impact of the pandemic. Activities included assessment of hospitals and health care facilities, training healthcare staff on infection control practices and ensuring effective and streamlined contact tracing to control and reduce the infection risk.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to global trade, business, and education and is estimated to cost the world economy a staggering $1Trillion. However, the pandemic offers an opportunity for emerging economies like Bangladesh to tap into new trends by focusing on demand-led market segments.
Tourism is a strategically significant sector in Sri Lanka and is the third-largest export earner for the country. In an effort to revive the country's tourism infrastructure, the government is revising Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STDP).
Putting staff safety first, project implementation slab a new normal. Practicing various precautionary measures, detailed guidelines for working from home, daily monitoring of work and extensive use of diverse digital platforms have been proposed to maintain social distancing norms and minimize physical contact.
The shutdown of all educational institutes in the country has impacted the entire education sector. In response, the Government has initiated strategies like the Meghalaya School Improvement Plan (MSIP) to continue the teaching-learning process throughout the state.
In response to the current crisis, Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) in collaboration with Health Information Service Provider (HISP) India created a COVID-19 dashboard for Jammu & Kashmir based on state’s specific requirements which are in compliance with MoHFW reporting requirements.
Over 1,200 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits were disseminated on urgent basis to Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir to bridge gaps emerging in regular supply chain being managed by the Health Department. The kits included disposable coverall, masks, gloves etc.
Due to the nature of the pandemic, educational institutions had to be closed to prevent its spread which led to the disruption of academic activities. In response, most of the schools in East Khasi Hills have sought to E-learning via applications like Google Classroom, NICE INFOTECH E-Scholar etc for uninterrupted learning.
COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges for public health. This campaign aim to raise social awareness for combating stigma; creating an enabling environment for people with symptoms to seek help and show solidarity, encouragement and support to all healthcare workers and sanitation staff in charge.
The disruption caused due to COVID-19 has compelled educational institutions across India, and the world to suspend physical classrooms and shift to online classes. In response to this crisis, Government of Meghalaya has been implementing online education across the state to ensure smooth progression of the learning cycle.
In response to the current pandemic, an unexpected result of the partnership between Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) and Wadhwani Institute, a nonprofit organization has been the development of a triaging tool for detecting COVID-19 suspect cases in Indian states.
Working in the community, the team is working with commitment for corona warriors and is also facilitating the access of ration, food packets etc. among the labourers. The project is aimed at helping Rajasthan Urban Sector Development Programme in consultations and public awareness.
According to UN agencies, since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence (sexual and physical) against women/ girls has intensified. Globally, in the last one year, 243 million women and girls have been subjected to sexual and physical violence.
Health and well being are of utmost importance now and the pandemic has impacted physical & mental health of the population at large. The primary findings from this study suggest that strengthening health care with special mental health services, developing support groups/peer counseling services are the key to achieving a happy & healthy life.
Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) is DFID’s flagship intervention in higher education. Due to the unprecedented changes caused by the pandemic, the team with the support of SPHEIR has designed a tool for students & lecturers to provide brief reflections against topics including their learning experiences, change in teaching practices and the impact of COVID-19.
IPE CKD with UNDP has developed a swipe-based game - a first in a series of three games which helps in reinforcing behaviour change communication to fight COVID-19. Available in 7 Indian languages (Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu, Bangla) & 5 International languages (English, French, Portuguese, Arabic,Tetum), the game tracks user response and sends relevant messages.
COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all segments of the population and is proving detrimental to the global economy. To mitigate its impact, the team is planning to undertake three case studies across two countries in response to the pandemic while identifying and considering country-wise scenario planning, assessing budget implications and conducting detailed risk assessment.
An update on the crisis shared by our health team that leverages existing state and district level assignment to integrate COVID-19 response measures. The team is conducting set of activities such as strengthening infection prevention control, increasing precautions, tracking cases and mitigating the infection risk.
Team engaged in providing operational and administrative support to combat the pandemic in the city which includes preparation of standard operating procedures coupled with data monitoring.
COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all segments of the population and is proving detrimental to the socio-economic construct of our country. It is critical to building societies supported by a new policy framework with adequate resources for social security laying a foundation for long-term improvements.
COVID-19 is posing an existential crisis and disruption and the world is facing a threat unlike any other that is impacting our livelihoods, economies and well-being. Entrepreneurs have also been impacted largely as a result of the crisis, specifically women entrepreneurs and their business ventures.
At a time when front-line workers like Anganwadi workers (AWW) in Odisha are continuing to work hard during times of a national lockdown, our community led campaign facilitates the front-line to help them continue to work hard during the lockdown and leverage technology when field visits are not a possibility.
Supporting state government’s effort to fight the pandemic, the team is managing and controlling the spread of the virus by tracking new reported cases and helping out those working outside the state continuously.
A webinar on food security and sustainability in the time of COVID-19 with its prospects & challenges was conducted. The webinar focused on some important information about food security during the pandemic.
Amidst the virus, technology has emerged as a game changer at the public and private sector. From virtual tools to e-discussion, a multi-dimensional “out of box” approach is the need of the hour.
COVID-19 has presented a situation where the need for communication is important. Amidst this, a specific cadre of Nutrition workers under the RajPusht project are ensuring to help create awareness during the pandemic.