Aiming to improve public health efforts in the North Eastern region of India, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in collaboration with the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) on Wednesday launched “Swasth Uttar Purva: Healthy North East” initiative.

The initiative will help catalyse trained workforce by imparting appropriate training in delivering healthcare.

Under the initiative, the PHFI and DoNER will provide technical assistance to the state governments of North East and civil society partners for implementation of public health projects and programmes in the region.

It will promote policy and programmes relevant research by conducting impact assessment and policy dialogues, conducting North East relevant summits and workshops as applicable to public health.

“The DONER has provided funds to the PHFI for strengthening the health system in the North East region. We do recognise that North East is a area which needs a lot of work in the are of health. We will be acting as a technical support in the entire project,” said K Srinath Reddy, President of PHFI during the launch.

Among the deliverables of Swasth Uttar Purva — whose first phase will be completed in the next two years — will include the training of primary care physicians in the management of chronic conditions and injuries.

The first phase will be implemented in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

The North Eastern states account for only 3.8% of India’s total population but the diverse and sparse population geographical and socio-political constraints, along with connectivity to mainland and other states, hamper the implementation of health programmes.

As a result despite being a vibrant region, the North East lags behind in its health indicators.

“Under this initiative, the technical assistance part is capacity building for the government officials. Doctors need to be trained. The frontline health workers can take care of people’s life once trained. This Public Private Partnership mode can be best in public health,” said SN Pradhan, Joint Secretary at DONER Ministry.

Under the initiative, the PHFI will conduct awareness generation programmes and cancer workshops.