Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is working towards building a healthier India. It is helping to address the limited institutional and systems capacity in India by strengthening education and training, advancing research and technology and facilitating policy and practice in the area of Public Health. PHFI is headquartered in New Delhi with national presence through its constituent units of regional Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPHs) and Centers of Applied Research in core public health themes. The Foundation, established in 2006 as a public private initiative, is governed by an independent board comprising of senior government officials, eminent Indian and International academic and leaders, civil society representatives and corporate leaders.
The Center for Environmental Health is a joint initiative of the Public Health Foundation of India and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), and has been established with generous support from Tata Sons and Tata Consultancy Services. Environmental Health is an area of growing interest for PHFI, with our work in the space expanding over the past few years to address issues related to air pollution, climate change, pesticide use, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), while the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has been in the forefront of studying the social, economic and environmental determinants of health. This collaborative effort aims to set up this much-needed platform in India for dedicated and high quality research and capacity building in the area of environmental health.
In addition to a portfolio of research in areas such as climate change, chemical exposures and WASH, the Center also focuses on Air Pollution in India. Household and ambient air pollution (HAP and AAP) rank amongst the top risk factors leading to a range of adverse health outcomes including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases – key reasons for air pollution induced premature deaths – per the Global Burden of Disease 2013 country report for India. Annual premature deaths caused by particulate air pollution have increased by six times since the year 2000. Air pollution caused 1.4 million deaths in India in 2013. The burden is borne disproportionately by the poor (especially women and children) primarily due to the widespread use of biomass cook-stoves in India. Indian women may also be susceptible to environmental impact due to their diet and poor nutritional status, predisposing them to further negative health outcomes.
Center’s efforts will explore epidemiological and qualitative research to understand how ambient and household air pollution impacts the health of urban and rural communities; engage with policy makers to influence health-beneficial policies; and undertake risk communication efforts with at-risk communities and general public.