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Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, Kerala

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The SreeChitraTirunal Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST)Trivandrum, under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India is one of the premier medical institutions of the country in patient care, academic research and development activities, combining them uniquely with a strong bio-medical programme. The significance of this integration was recognized by the Government of India by formulating legislation to make SCTIMST an ‘institution of national importance’ with the status of university. The School of public Health, Achuta Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies (AMCHSS) was set up for research, training and consultation in public health and the country’s first master’s programme in Public Health (MPH) was started in 1997. There are also other diploma courses and an off-campus programme. The Centre conducts several short courses in subjects which have growing significance on health care, such as research and professional ethics, gender sensitization, maternal and child health, etc., in addition to research and providing consultancy services to national and international agencies. Within a decade, this model has received wide national acceptance and set the trend for public health education in the country. The Ministry of Health, Government of India, has recognized the AMCHSS as a Centre of Excellence for Public Health Training.

Completed research projects include a collaborative project with SEWA Rural and Centre for Ethics and Rights on Capacity building for Safe Motherhood programs, Epidemiological profiling using data triangulation supported by NACO, monograph on women and health in the WHO Pacific Region.

On-going research projects include the field action project of the AthiyannurSreeChitra Action (ASA). Here, a new project on capacity building of women health workers and another on public health impact of technology use by women is being undertaken. Capacity building programme for Junior Public Health Nurses (JPHNs) in the study area was conducted for monitoring of cardio vascular diseases with optimal adaptation of health care technology.

ASA conducts cardiology clinics on fourth Saturdays at the Vizhinjan CHC, and neurology clinics every second month on the second Saturday. A database has been created of socio-demographic features for the 1,84,000 people in the Athiyannur Block, comprising six Grama panchayats, spread over 60 sq km, which includes the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. This was achieved with help from the Geomatics laboratory of Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS). A district health information system, in partnership with University of Oslo, has been developed to pilot test computer software that captures and consolidates the regular field data that is collected by public health workers.

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