I strongly feel that development of perspectives and pursuits which are based on community based,community led and community owned approaches can take care of the humongous hurdles the developing countries are facing; especially in the field of health.

The needs based and evidence based planning by the community for interventions which are monitored by the community itself are a definite key to success of such endeavours and are bound to go a long way in improving the scenario of health in these countries.

Health Systems Strengthening must be ensured at all costs(requiring a massive exercise of careful prioritization in the poor countries euphemistically called developing nations)but we must maintain the sustained focus on Community Systems Strengthening(CSS)fully backed by an effective Social Change Communication(SCC).

We all have to see these words beyond their just being mere statements (very often truisms) but as a definite writing on the wall which has to be facilitated by all of us through very active and proactive involvements of the civil society at large, to effect the desired outcome.

Let us all ensure a committed and concerted collective action based on SALT for the same.

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Comment by Dr Rajesh Gopal on May 19, 2009 at 3:22pm
Thanks for sharing the experiences in India.
The districts are analyzing the HINI preparedness which has automatically given a lower priority due to a presumed(in spite of the evidence on the contrary) less risk perception.
The ongoing mutant virus hepatitis B epidemic in a district and the 'epidemic' of suicides and parasuicides by the PLHIV has taken all our time and focus.
Shall share some plans and action for prevention of suicides.
Comment by Gaston on May 19, 2009 at 3:13pm
Dear Rajesh, I agree with what said. So let's put these things into action. I just got back after an incredibly encouraging 2 weeks trip in India. Unfortunately, we couldn't meet, but I am sure an opportunity will arise in the future. A National Review in Nagaland with around 12 organizations (NGOs, SACS, PLHIV networks and others) joined for a 3-day learning experience with direct application in the field. Very encouraging reactions on the AIDS Competence approach and efforts in the North-East will continue, probably with UN support.

In the South, we reviewed with 6 NGOs the progress made on AIDS Competence the last 2 years. We have been mentoring these NGOs in their implementation (through ADB funding). It truly impresses me how these NGOs have developed their strong beliefs in the community’s capacity to respond. Their integration of the AIDS Competence approach differs per organization in intensity and diversity. This only shows the true ownership of it.

Efforts are now underway to take these initiatives a step further, through continuous sharing, learning and possibly some national coordination. If you have ideas on what supporting structures would work in India, please feel free to contribute.

And how are your influenza pandemic preparedness efforts going? It would be great to learn from your experience.

Kind regards,
Comment by Dr Rajesh Gopal on May 15, 2009 at 10:31pm
We have to ensure health sector reforms through an inter-sectoral approach.

The AIDS activists and development professionals working for containment of HIV/AIDS perceive very clearly that HIV/AIDS(like most of the ailments) is not a mere health issue: its occurrence is influenced by a number of socio-economic,cultural and ecological determinants.

Health interventions alone, therefore, cannot lead to its prevention. Its prevention requires a concerted collaborative effort from all organizations in public life through their work and programmes.

This integrated, inclusive and multi-sectoral approach transfers the ownership of HIV/AIDS issues – including its direct and indirect causes, impact and response to various stakeholders, including the government, the corporate sector and civil society organizations.

The focus of all organizations in mainstreaming must be to adapt their core business to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS.

Mainstreaming and inter-sectoral approach will have to be adopted by all.
Comment by Dr Rajesh Gopal on May 15, 2009 at 10:08pm
I sincerely believe that Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) supported by an effective Social Change Communication (SCC) can successfully address most of the socio-economic, cultural and ecological determinants of health if properly backed by mainstreamed perspectives and pursuits.

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