INDIA:  IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF THE URBAN POOR LIVING IN SLUMS

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In May, a team composed of three members of EHP’s staff traveled to India on a three-week assignment to identify a strategy and initiate a work plan for the design and implementation of USAID/India’s Urban Health Program. The broad goal of the Urban Health Program is to improve the health of poor people dwelling in urban slums in selected areas of India. Based on the strengths and experiences of USAID/India’s Regional Urban Development Office (RUDO), two cities have been identified in which to implement the program initially: Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh).EHP will be the lead organization to guide the implementation of the USAID/India Urban Health Program. In this capacity, EHP anticipates playing a variety of roles to achieve program goals and objectives. These roles include, but are not limited to, technical assistance in areas within EHP’s mandate and manageable interest; identification and coordination of cooperating agencies and nongovernmental organizations for other technical assistance activities beyond EHP’s mandate; creating a mechanism for providing small grants to local nongovernmental organizations; and overall leadership, coordination, and facilitation with other cooperating agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and international agencies.For information on this activity, please contact Eddy Perez (mailto:[email protected])
FIELD TRIALS OF BIOLOGICAL LARVICIDES FOR MALARIA CONTROL IN ERITREAWith funding from USAID/Asmara, EHP provides technical support to the Ministry of Health in Eritrea for implementing its National Malaria Control Program.Mosquito control is an important part of Eritrea’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), which currently uses indoor spraying, the chemical larvicide temephos, and community-based environmental management to control adult and larval mosquito populations. EHP is helping NMCP conduct field trials to evaluate the potential for using two biological larvicides, Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus. The trials, which will begin in September, will have two components: The first will confirm the efficacy of the larvicides, and the second will examine several issues that will determine the effectiveness of a larvicide program. During a recent trip, EHP consultant Dr. Robert Novak and EHP Resident Adviser Dr. Josephat Shililu prepared detailed plans and protocols for the trials and completed the site selection process.For information on this activity, please contact Gene Brantly (mailto:[email protected])
STRENGTHENING URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IN KANANGA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGOThe USAID/Democratic Republic of Congo Urban Environmental Health Strategy developed by EHP in collaboration with the Regional Urban Development Office presents a framework for both short-term and long-term interventions. Short-term interventions include the implementation of results-oriented pilot projects. The International Rescue Committee, in close collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations, is implementing one pilot project in Kananga.The main objective of the Kananga activity is to reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality due to waterborne diseases, particularly among women and children, by enabling better health and hygiene practices, increasing quantity of household water, and improving the sustainability of water supplies.To date, 60 springs have been improved and 2 cisterns have been constructed. To support sustainability of the water supplies, each new source is privately owned and operated. Additionally, 10 local nongovernmental organizations have been trained to improve and manage water points, and 48 social animators trained in hygiene and health sensitization techniques have been mobilized. Another component of the Kananga pilot project is the implementation of baseline and impact surveys related to health and hygiene practices in the Kananga population. The University of Kinshasa School of Public Health, with support from EHP and the USAID Regional Urban Development Office, recently completed the baseline study.For information on this activity, please contact Chris McGahey (mailto:[email protected])
THE BANGLADESH, BHUTAN, INDIA, AND NEPAL (BBIN) NETWORKIn July 2000, EHP organized an initial workshop for representatives from vector-borne disease programs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal to discuss the potential for collaboration on cross-border initiatives. The workshop was funded by the USAID Regional Bureau for Asia and Near East and was held in Nepal. An outcome of the workshop was the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Network.As part of its support for the Regional Infectious Diseases Strategy in South Asia, the USAID Asia and Near East Bureau is increasing its funding for continued development of the BBIN Network and its related cross-border activities, through EHP. Under this new activity, EHP will work with BBIN Network members to improve communication among members; standardize diagnostic and surveillance procedures for priority infectious diseases; improve the quality of data available regarding the epidemiology of infectious diseases, resistance to antimicrobial drugs, vector ecology, and vector susceptibility to insecticides; and increase information shared related to infectious diseases among BBIN Network members.The BBIN Network has launched its Web site at http://www.bbin.org. Next steps for standardizing diagnostic and surveillance procedures were discussed at the Inter-country Meeting on Cross-border Initiatives on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Kala-azar, organized by the World Health Organization Southeast Asia Regional Office and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and held in Kathmandu from March 6 to March 9, 2001.For information on the BBIN Network and its cross-border activities, please contact Gene Brantly (mailto:[email protected])
INFORMATION EXCHANGE NETWORKDiarrhea is the second most important killer of children under 5. Although there is clear evidence of reduction of diarrheal disease mortality in recent years (thanks to case management with oral rehydration salts), existing data suggest that to reduce morbidity and mortality related to diarrheal disease further, programs must also focus on primary prevention of diarrhea.Although several preventive interventions have been promoted, proper disposal of feces of children under 5–a key hygiene behavior essential in primary prevention of diarrhea–has been generally overlooked. EHP’s Information Center is establishing an interactive e-mail information exchange network on the topic, titled ”Proper Excreta Disposal and Its Impact on Diarrhea Prevention in Children Under 5.” This is a free service open to all interested professionals.To join the network, please send us an e-mail (mailto:[email protected]).The discussions are tentatively scheduled to start August 6 and will last about 4 weeks.

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