IIM plays umpire in health project

YOU MUST have heard the phrase 'killing two birds with one stone'. This is exactly what the Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Development Project (UPHSDP) plans to do to improve health facilities in rural areas.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 00:51 IST

YOU MUST have heard the phrase 'killing two birds with one stone'. This is exactly what the Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Development Project (UPHSDP) plans to do to improve health facilities in rural areas.

In this case, the stone is the Indian Institute of Management- Lucknow and the targets are quacks and NGOs active in villages.

Due to skeleton government health services in rural areas, the people are left with no other option, but to depend on quacks for medical care. To ensure that the rural folk get quality medical attention, the UPHSDP has planned to establish health posts in remote villages in 28 selected districts.

The UPHSDP has decided to give non-government organisations the responsibility of managing these posts.

But, UPHSDP officers were in a dilemma on how to select bona fide NGOs.

Finally, the IIM Lucknow came to their rescue. Project director (UPHSDP) Shailesh Krishna said, "We decided to take the services of the IIM to maintain transparency in the selection of NGOs." "We handed over a list of NGOs who have applied for the project to the IIM. We urged the institute to prepare a merit list of the NGOs. Based on qualitative and quantitative formula, the IIM students prepared a merit list. The students went on field trips to assess the working of NGOs," he said.

"The selected NGOs will set up health posts in villages. Along with organising immunisation drive and raising awareness among villagers, doctors and paramedical staff deputed on these posts will provide patients with preliminary treatment," Krishna said.

"Women residing in the rural areas usually hesitate to relate their health problems to male doctors. We have decided to that a lady doctor will be available at the health post each weekday. A trained birth attendant will be also deputed at each post," he said.

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 00:51 IST