The year 2019-20 saw IHAT reinforce its commitment towards ensuring equity and quality in health. IHAT strengthened its partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh and supported the departments of Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development and the National Health Mission to improve maternal and child health outcomes, through the Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit (UP-TSU). IHAT also sustained its work with Governments of Karnataka and Delhi by supporting the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS) in implementing the HIV technical support units. This was also a year where IHAT forged a new partnership with the National Health Mission, Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Antara Foundation to establish an Innovation Hub in Madhya Pradesh to support the state in the areas of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, and Tuberculosis.
The year has been exciting! IHAT’s work was recognized for the second consecutive year as best practices. The Government of India recognized the UP-TSU’s ‘Buddy-Buddy’ model for rapid activation of First Referral Units at the ‘National Summit on Innovations and Best Practice’, held in Gandhinagar in December 2019. The ‘ASHA payments’ mobile application for streamlining payments of incentives to the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) was also highly appreciated. As well, the National AIDS Control Organization recognized and appreciated the Delhi TSU’s virtual interventions including the virtual mapping for key populations.
As the year drew to a close, the world was challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis. IHAT rose to the occasion and is at the forefront, supporting the UP government’s fight against the virus, while continuing to ensure that the health service needs of the population are addressed. IHAT supported the GoUP to establish real-time surveillance for COVID-19, while continuing its commitment to the mothers, newborn and children in the state. Digital interventions and platforms were widely used for training, communication and surveillance. In Delhi and Karnataka, IHAT has been working with various departments to ensure that key populations have continuity in access to commodities and prevention, care and treatment services, and that people living with HIV have continued access to ART.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged IHAT to rethink how it should reach out to, engage and support communities, strengthen facility interventions and support governments in order to sustain and enhance gains in population health outcomes. IHAT visualizes a number of opportunities for communities, health care facilities and government health systems to emerge stronger in the pursuit to improve population health.
We are grateful to our team at IHAT, the donors, the national and state governments with whom we work and the communities whom we serve for their unwavering support during the year.