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VIKALP SANGAM ON PRACTICE OF PLURALISM IN HEALTH KNOWLEDGE

12-13TH JUNE, 2018

This is an invitation for sharing of alternatives about health related knowledge and practice in the context of medical pluralism. Since the purpose is also to include in this sharing persons engaged in developing alternatives for a health system that is more democratic and people-centred but not actively working on medical pluralism, we thought that the efforts at ‘integration’ of more than one system of knowledge provides a point of dialogue between the two.  The attached concept note clarifies the thinking with which this vikalp sangam is being organised.

This gathering is a part of the larger process of Vikalp Sangams (Alternatives Confluences) which are being hosted in various parts of the country. The basic idea of the Vikalp Sangam is to have regional, thematic and at a later stage national, gatherings to bring together initiatives focused on practical alternatives in different fields such as nature and natural resources, energy, education, health, crafts, media, justice, livelihood, market/trade, culture, governance, and so on.

Sharing of efforts at providing alternatives to the dominant knowledge of health and healthcare, especially of those that have attempted to integrate various health knowledges, is the focus of this Vikalp Sangam.  From those practicing any one system other than the ‘conventional modern medicine’, those who are attempting to integrate more than one system of health knowledge and practice, to those who are promoting thinking about the legitimacy of pluralism in health knowledge and thereby characteristics of a health system that optimally incorporates this idea, all are welcome and invited to share their experiences and thoughts, their achievements and challenges. Given the hierarchies among health knowledges and practices prevailing in the present times, an openness and sensitivity to diverse world views and epistemologies will make the dialogue meaningful in taking forward our shared concern for creating systems for improving health of all.

The Vikalp Sangam is being organised with support of Kalpavriksh and Tribal Health Initiative (Sittilingi) who will provide for local  stay over the two days. Participants are expected to bear their travel expenses. In case anyone has a constraint in doing so,  as the organisers we will attempt to assist overcome this so that it does not prevent anyone interested in participating from doing so. The routes to reach Sitlingi are given below.

We recognise this is short notice, but look forward to your participation in the sharing that will help strengthening of all vikalps attempting improvements in health careIt will also help plan on how to take the process forward. Please confirm your participation at the earliest to facilitate organisation of the logistics and work out a realistic programme.

In solidarity,
Regi George (THI, Sittilingi)
Ritu Priya (Health Swaraaj Group of SADED & JNU)
Rakhal Gaitonde (Independant public health researcher)
Madhulika Banerjee (Delhi University)
Contacts:
Regi George (09488344325); Ritu Priya (09313350186), ritupriyajnu@gmial.com

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HOW TO REACH SITTILINGI

Airports : Chennai is the most convenient. Bangalore has less connections to Sittilingi , while from Chennai , there are day and night trains which come to nearby railway stations

Travel from Chennai:

Night Trains > The easiest to get tickets is the Salem express which starts from Egmore at 11pm. Get down at Vazhapady – the second stop after Attur [reaches at around 5am] The train stops for only a minute so please dont delay in deboarding – the platform is on the left as you face the direction of the train engine. Walk across to the bus stand. There is a Thiruvannamalai bus which leaves at 6am which parks across the road to the busstand [not in it]. Take a ticket to Sittilingi and ask to be dropped in front of the “Sittilingi hospital”. If the train is late and you miss the Thiruvannamalai bus, get into the V7 bus [inside the bus stand] and get down at Thumbal. At 8am you will connect to the Hosur bus and get down at the hospital. If in case you are coming in the Yercaud express, get down at Salem, take a bus to Vazhapadi and follow the rest of the instructions.

Going back > the Salem express leaves Vazhapadi at 9.40 pm and there are connection buses from here. You will reach Egmore at 4.30 am. The Yercaud leaves Salem at 10 pm – you will have to leave earlier from here.

If there are a number of people on the same train, we can send our vehicle to collect you.

From Chennai – day trains : The Kovai Express leaves at 6.15am from Chennai Central as also the West Coast Express at 11.15 am. Get down at Morappur. Take a bus to Harur and then onwards to Sittilingi. If there is no bus to Sittilingi at that time – please take a bus to Kotapatty and we can pick you up from there. Please call the office – 9585799061.

For those coming by train : The nearest big railway station is Salem and all trains stop there. Please let us know when you reach Salem and we will mail you instructions accordingly. Salem is 85km from Sittilingi and takes about 2 ½ hrs to reach.

PLEASE BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW TO AVOID LAST MINUTE CONFUSIONS.
Please take a print out of this or save it on your phone for reference.

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Invitation to a Dialogue Series 

Towards Sustainable and Empowering Healthcare:

Gandhi’s Vision and its Relevance today 

A healthcare crisis is being experienced globally. Gandhiji’s experiments with health related issues and his writings on health care have been widely published. Yet they do not seem to inform our understandings of health and health care today. Can they provide more sustainable and empowering ways of working for improving health?

We hope to generate dialogue on this in the coming 150th year of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s birth, starting with Gandhi but not restricted to his work. In this first of the series, we have two economists present to us their study of Gandhi’s vision of health and health care.

Prof. Mark Lindley

Which Parts of Mahatma Gandhi’s Message about Health Care are Useful Today?’

and

Prof. Satish Jain

‘Gandhi’s Vision of Health and Health Care’

Chair: Shri Kumar Prashant

Discussant: Prof. Ritu Priya

Venue: Gandhi Peace Foundation, 221-223, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi (Near ITO)

Date: 16th April, 2018

Time: 5 pm-8 pm

We hope you will be able to find the time to participate in this dialogue to recall and interrogate Gandhiji’s vision for health and its relevance in the present times.

We look forward to having you with us.

Sincerely,

Rajnikant Mudgal (South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy-SADED)

Chris Mary Kurian (Health Swaraaj group of SADED)

Ashok Kumar (Gandhi Peace Foundation-GPF) 

Programme 

5pm: Tea

5.30-6.15 pm: Presentation by Prof. Mark Lindley

6.15-7.00 pm: Presentation by Prof. Satish Jain

7.00-7.10 pm: Discussant Prof. Ritu Priya

7.10-8.00 pm: Questions and Open discussion

8.00 pm: Chairperson’s remarks

*Dr. Mark Lindley is an ecological economist, born in Washington DC in 1937 and studied at Harvard University (A.B.), Juilliard School of Music (M.A.) and Columbia University (D.Phil.). He has taught at several prestigious universities across the world including in India, and is author/co-author of more than 15 books –three about Gandhi and notable Gandhians.

*Prof. Satish Jain is an economist recently superannuated from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi with expertise in Welfare Economics, and Law and Economics.  He is an independent intellectual of the Gandhian-Socialist stream, and has an interest in Ayurveda.

HEALTH MEETING

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25 March, 2018, 10:00 AM

sambhaavnaa.org

The Politics of Health: Towards Sustainable and Empowering Health Care

A Workshop organised by

Sambhaavnaa Institute together with Health Swaraj Group of SADED

25th-31st March, 2018

Politics-of-Health-2018-1200x661

Background

The Indian enigma is that India’s health indicators are among the worst in the world despite our being one of the biggest democracies and fastest growing economies. Increasing life expectancy seems to mask the poor quality of life and its health consequences. Our children and adults are more malnourished than the populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have a triple burden of continuing communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and pneumonia, increasing non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancers and environmental pollution related problems, as well as increasing injuries due to traffic accidents, social violence and suicides. And access to affordable health care is becoming more difficult. Obviously, Indian development and health policies are not in sync with health conditions of the majority. Even though health and health care are concerns of each individual, we do not seem to give them due public policy attention, either in the overall planning processes for the country or in development of health services.

In the present times, people are facing three crises related to health. One is of changing disease patterns due to rapidly changing environmental, economic, social and cultural conditions for which preventive and therapeutic measures have still to be understood and applied. The second is of the difficulties faced in availing of affordable, safe and dependable health care. The third is the dominant perspective of health knowledge and services that have led to a medicalization and commodification of health, with loss of the capacity for ‘listening to one’s body’ and being involved in decisions related to one’s own health. Thereby, the domain of health and health care have become tools of dis-empowerment at individual, community and societal levels. Government policies have led to building up of a large health services infrastructure in the country, and also contributed to creation of the crises people are facing.

Several government, academic, civil society and social movement initiatives have attempted to address these concerns. These include the Primary Health Care approach adopted internationally as part of the WHO-UNICEF’s Alma-Ata declaration in 1978 and the building of public services since the 1940s in India. In recent decades, there has been the attempt to strengthening of public services through the National Rural Health Mission, the current international approaches of Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, campaigns such as for the Right to Food and Right to Health.

About the Workshop:

In this program, we will examine the public policy and non-government initiatives that have attempted to work towards bottom-up, pro-people and pro-poor health care systems. They will be explored for their approach and achievements against the backdrop of the dominant political economy of healthcare. To understand what the present situation of health care is and how it can be improved from a pro-people perspective we will examine the following questions:

  • What all aspects affecting health are included in ‘health care’?
  • What affects people’s access to appropriate and quality health care?
  • What is ‘quality’ in health care?
  • What is ‘medicalisation’ and ‘commodification’ of health?
  • What decision-making about their health can lay people do, and what is ‘empowering’ or ‘disempowering’ for them in the context of health care?
  • What are the implications of these processes for designing health systems?

In order to answer these questions, we will use available data on health and the experience of attempts to improve health care. While discussing issues informed by global experience, it will focus on the Indian context.

Methodology:  Group Work, Interactive sessions, Presentations, Film screenings and lectures will be used to develop an understanding of the various dimensions of the politics of health. The options available for future development will be the purpose of the course. Sessions will be structured to:

  • Explore reasons for inequalities in health status and health care as the ‘Politics of Access’
  • Understand pluralism in health knowledge as the ‘Politics of Knowledge’, and the processes of decision-making for health as the ‘Politics of Governance’, with delineation of the linkages between the three.
  • Move towards a collective re-conceptualization of what can be the future directions for a people-centered approach to health and healthcare.
  • Examine these issues and develop an understanding of what can be done for designing health services that are sustainable and empowering.

Who is this workshop for:  Health activists, journalists dealing with health issues, early and mid-career health care providers (doctors, nurses, paramedics) or anyone interested in people oriented health and health care; anyone interested in contributing to developing a better understanding of how to empower people to deal with health problems and creating social conditions that support the same.

Workshop Facilitators:  The resource persons include:

  • Madhulika Banerjee (Professor, Department of Political Science, Delhi University)
  • Rakhal Gaitonde (Umea University, Sweden),
  • V. Sujatha (Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, JNU),
  • Ritu Priya (Health Swaraaj workgroup of South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED) and Professor at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU),

and others from the academic, civil society and movement spheres.

Language: The workshop will be conducted bilingually (English/Hindi)

Dates: 25th March 10:00 AM to 31st March 5:00 PM 2018.

Venue:  Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Contact: For more information please call 889 422 7954 or email: programs@sambhaavnaa.org

 Schedule for the program:

Day 1: Setting the Stage

  • National and international health facts and figures, institutional structures and debates about health.
  • Data of Health status and inequalities; What is health; Interpreting the data (eg numbers and rates; what indicators-disability-adjusted life year (DALY)
  • SDHs; debates about determinants
  • What is health care—individual, collective, societal systems; quality of health care, medicalisation and commodification; empowering and disempowering; ICDS and AWCs
  • Vaccines— the technology and its role—smallpox and polio, malaria and HIV; commercial interests vs cost-effectiveness and safety

Day 2: Politics of Access

  • Structure of health services and implications for access— public/private; traditional / modern; Doctor and hospital centred vs home-community-paramedic-GP-specialist layered continuum; NHPs for delivery of medicines/vaccines/medicalisation of child birth/
  • Bhore to PHC to private sector to corporatisation to NRHM and UHC— unregulated medical profession as leader; nurses and caring missing; people’s knowledge and pluralism missing
  • Financing— India and other countries; as against GDP but also absolute; Health insurance as option-good idea of risk pooling but becomes a profit making industry; necessity of public i.e. state/philanthropic support. Also non-commercial service and self care.
  • Malpractice and over-prescription— medicalisation and commodification; corporatisation
  • Rational drug use; Pharma, Patents and Pricing— 80% of OOP expenditure; TNMSC/Jan-aushdhalaya/ generic drugs
  • Right to Health; Right to Food campaigns
  • Access to medical commodities is not enough to ensure health for all, e.g. anaemia and maternal mortality

Day 3: Politics of Knowledge

Impact of colonialism and responses to it by various health related knowledge systems (Food and nutrition/Health and health care/); Medical pluralism in the present times; Issues of people’s dis-empowerment and empowerment through legitimization of knowledge. Impact of the pharma industry on the creation of knowledge and disease categories.

Day 4: Field visit

To interact with the local community and a range of health care providers.

Day 5

Politics of Governance: Health governance and management structures; Decentralisation v/s the idea of a National Authority; People’s role in monitoring and planning services—CBMP under NRHM; Role of diverse conceptual frameworks for design of health care systems.

Day 6

Re-writing PHC: Alma Ata document on Primary Health Care to be analysed and discussion on how it can be rewritten for people’s health and empowerment in the 21st century. Engaging with range of documents developed in the current context.

Day 7

Presentation and discussion of PHC 2.0  & Panel Discussion by all speakers and open discussion with participants.

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2nd September 2017

INVITATION POLICY MEETING ON LOCAL HEALTH TRADITION

Explore Here:  TCHP Certification Scheme Document invitation 1

invitation 2

Explore here: policy brief on local health traditions and Implementation Framework in context of National Health Policy 2017

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politics in health

 

The Politics of Health: Towards Sustainable and Empowering Health Care

A Workshop organised by Sambhavanaa Institute and Health Swaraaj Group of SADED

DSC00714

Background:

The Indian Enigma is that India’s health indicators are among the worst in the world despite our being one of the biggest democracies and fastest growing economies. Increasing life expectancy seem to mask the poor quality of life and its health consequences. Our children and adults are more malnourished than the populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have a triple burden of continuing communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and pneumonia, increasing non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancers and environmental pollution related problems, as well as increasing injuries due to traffic accidents, social violence and suicides. And access to affordable health care is becoming more difficult. Obviously, Indian development and health policies are not in sync with health conditions of the majority. Even though health and health care are concerns of each individual, we do not seem to give them due public policy attention, either in the overall planning processes for the country or in development of health services.

In the present times, people are facing three crises related to health. One is of changing disease patterns due to rapidly changing environmental, economic, social and cultural conditions for which preventive and therapeutic measures have still to be understood and applied. The second is of the difficulties faced in availing of affordable, safe and dependable health care. The third is the dominant perspective of health knowledge and services that have led to a medicalization and commodification of health, with loss of the capacity for ‘listening to one’s body’ and being involved in decisions related to one’s own health. Thereby, the domain of health and health care have become tools of dis-empowerment at individual, community and societal levels. Government policies have led to building up of a large health services infrastructure in the country, and also contributed to creation of the crises people are facing.

Several government, academic, civil society and social movement initiatives have attempted to address these concerns. These include the Primary Health Care approach adopted internationally as part of the WHO-UNICEF’s Alma-Ata declaration in 1978 and the building of public services since the 1940s in India. In recent decades, there has been the attempt to strengthening of public services through the National Rural Health Mission, the current international approaches of Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, campaigns such as for the Right to Food and Right to Health.

About the Workshop:

In this program, we will examine the public policy and non-government initiatives that have attempted to work towards bottom-up, pro-people and pro-poor health care systems. They will be explored for their approach and achievements against the backdrop of the dominant political economy of healthcare. To understand what the present situation of health care is and how it can be improved from a pro-people perspective we will examine the following questions:

What all aspects affecting health are included in ‘health care’?
What affects people’s access to appropriate and quality health care?
What is ‘quality’ in health care?
What is ‘medicalisation’ and ‘commodification’ of health?
What decision-making about their health can lay people do, and what is ‘empowering’ or ‘disempowering’ for them in the context of health care?
What are the implications of these processes for designing health systems?
In order to answer these questions, we will use available data on health and the experience of attempts to improve health care. While discussing issues informed by global experience, it will focus on the Indian context.

Methodology:

Group Work, Interactive sessions, Presentations, Film screenings and lectures will be used to develop an understanding of the various dimensions of the politics of health and the options available for future development, will be the purpose of the course. Sessions will be structured to:

▪ Explore reasons for inequalities in health status and health care as the ‘politics of access’
▪ Understand pluralism in health knowledge as the ‘politics of knowledge’, and the processes of decision-making for health as the ‘politics of governance’, with delineation of the linkages between the three.
▪ Move towards a collective re-conceptualization of what can be the future directions for a people-centered approach to health and healthcare.
▪ Examine these issues and develop an understanding of what can be done for designing health services that are sustainable and empowering.

Who is this workshop for: Health activists, journalists dealing with health issues, early and mid-career health care providers (doctors, nurses, paramedics) or anyone interested in people oriented health policy issues, to contribute to developing a better understanding of how to empower people to deal with health problems and creating social conditions that support the same.

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(A) Invitation Health Agenda 2014  

(B) Programme Day I and Day II Post Election Agenda

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cropped-logo-saded-new-july-2017

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