In coordination with their respective district health departments, MCHIP staff in India recently facilitated cross-learning visits to immunization and newborn care demonstration sites at three sub-district level health facilities in Uttar Pradesh. The sites—which were developed with assistance from MCHIP in India—have helped to build the knowledge of more than 100 program managers and cold chain handlers through interactive discussions and demonstrations on correct practices and processes.
Dr. Hari Om Dixit, General Manager (Child Health) for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), visited the demonstration sites in districts Gonda and Varanasi to gain an understanding of what is done there, assess the feasibility of replicating this work in other districts, and to gauge their usefulness as training sites for concerned health staff. He appreciated the innovative approaches being taken at the sites for building capacity, using resources systematically, implementing locally feasible solutions, and building ownership for ensuring sustainability.
Dr. Dixit was impressed with the demonstration site for newborn care in Gonda, including the staff's resuscitation skills and the quality of newborn care training and job aids. He said: "These demonstration sites have to be visited to understand their utility."
The visit helped to motivate the staff of the facilities, and also gave an opportunity for State-level discussions to occur on the merits of including this innovative work in the State immunization program implementation plan. Based on observations during the visit, MCHIP was asked to continue the Program’s good work and to help develop similar sites in other districts – specifically, for immunization and newborn care at two health facilities in the State capital, Lucknow.
The MCHIP immunization team will begin providing technical support to the Government health department, and these new sites will subsequently be linked to the State training institute for organizing learning visits of trainees, ensuring that the work is sustainable beyond the life of the project.
Dr. Karan Singh Sagar and Dr. Manish Jain, MCHIP/India