Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, July 13, 2024

International Institute of Health and Hygiene (Host Organisation)

With a view to achieving healthcare in totality, only treatment of diseases is not enough. Therefore, IIHH has developed an integrated health care approach with emphasis on yoga, the use of herbs and plants, healthy habits, and a change in attitude towards health & sanitation. It covers almost all aspects of healthcare, including check-ups, immunization, prenatal care, family planning, safe food drinking water, environmental sanitation, health education, etc. in a manner that all these become readily available and affordable to the recipients through self-sustainable management.
The International Institute of Health and Hygiene (earlier known as Sulabh International Institute of Health & Hygiene), set up in 1994, aims at achieving its objective by developing software and hardware on health, hygiene, and sanitation with an integrated approach, making the whole health program sustainable with a focus on women, children, and youth living in slums and rural poverty areas. IIHH has undertaken many such projects in collaboration with various national and international funding agencies working for sustainable community development. The Institute works in the following areas:
1. Awareness: Education and training program for women volunteers, school students, teachers, and rural folk.
IIHH has trained over 8,000 women volunteers in Delhi, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Chandigarh, especially from the urban slums and rural areas. They work to promote health, hygiene, and sanitation.
Published manuals on Women and Sanitation in Hindi, English, and Telugu. A Nepalese translation is just ready for publication. Both publications are effective in spreading the message.
Trained women volunteers have been deployed to ensure sustainable community development and safe water supply in an urban setup. About 1,500 women volunteers have been trained to serve safe drinking water to 150,000 urban slum dwellers. They were given a commission on supply and sales, which had provided them with a regular income. It was done in collaboration with the PSI and WHO.
2. Developing models and modules in rural and urban areas. IIHH has developed urban slums and villages.
The Jhuljhuli village, near Najafgarh, Delhi, deserves special mention. After a visit by the Sister City International of the U.S., the Mayor of Kettering, Ohio, in a letter stating that their visit to India was memorable for two reasons, "seeing the Taj Mahal, and visiting Jhuljhuli!".
The Institute has also taken up various programmes such as health check-up camps, and rural sanitation in Budhgaon, Sangli (Maharashtra), Ranichauri, and New Tehri (Uttaranchal) and 12 villages near Bhondsi (Gurgaon, Haryana). We have implemented a project on "Sustainable Development and Healthy Environment" in many villages of UP, MP, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan. This has been sponsored by the WHO and its implementation is being facilitated by the Indian Government's Ministry of Rural Development, with the main objective of promoting safe drinking water, sanitation, and rural water supply.
People's participation programme with awareness and training on Health, Hygiene, and Sanitation in the Yamuna Action Plan and rural set-up. We have conducted these programmes in Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Yamuna Action Plan in collaboration with the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) and Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), the Haryana Government, and other states in the rural villages.
3. Programme on population stabilization. We have adopted two innovative methods:
Distribution of oral contraceptive pills to eligible women at their doorsteps ensures timely delivery of pills ahead of the scheduled date for users and this eliminates "dropouts" due to non-availability.
Issue of contraceptive distribution card. It has been based on the pattern of the "Immunization card" used by UNICEF for the timely use of various contraceptives as selected by users.
4. Programmes related to STD & HIV/AIDS:
The Institute has undertaken various projects related to STD & AIDS in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Society, Delhi, Family Health International, AIDSCAP, and USAID.
And, is also an innovative method to use the public toilet complexes as awareness and education centres for the prevention of STD & AIDS, by exhibiting various publications and also helping in the intervention programme by distributing free condoms. Besides, over a thousand women volunteers have been trained on STD & AIDS in the urban slums in Delhi.
The use of the public toilet facilities as awareness and publicity centres with a distribution of free condoms has been successful, throughout India, as a very large number of users use the toilet complexes every day.
5. The partners are:
Central and State Governments.
National funding agencies - PFI, NIUA, NACO, State AIDS control society.
International funding agencies - WHO, UNICEF, USAID, AIDSCAP, etc.
People: Volunteers trained to act as leaders in slums and villages to promote a sense of people's participation
6. School students and teachers programs:
Students and teachers prove excellent ambassadors for health, hygiene, and sanitation and IIHH is encouraging teachers in taking up such related activities in urban slums and rural areas.
7. Hospital sanitation and Waste Management: This area has also been accorded increased priority. Through sustained efforts and bringing out various publications on this issue, the training of medical and para-medical aspects has been taken up on a national level. We have successfully developed a "Safe pit for sharps" a cost-effective but simple process for safe disposal of sharps. It has been constructed in 33 hospitals in India. The DDU Hospital, Delhi, is an example where we are providing the toilet and ward cleanliness facilities.
8. Developing public amenities as a health centre and awareness-cum-training centre. With the backing of adequate infrastructure, manpower, and space, they have developed a "Health Centre" for preventive, curative, and rehabilitative medical care of the poor and needy. This centre also provides Homeopathic and Ayurveda treatments. In short, we have tried to establish that awareness, education, and training for various community groups, especially for women, students, and children, is what matters most in implementing programs related to health, hygiene, and sanitation. This is especially so with women groups and the local youth, who can make the programs sustainable with people's participation.
9. Ensuring a supply of safe drinking water at a very cost-effective rate - a pilot project. Recently a pilot project has been taken up by IIHH in collaboration with PSI and WHO, which covers 1.5 lac populations from 30,000 Jhuggi-Jhopries of urban slums poor habitat. We have already trained 657 women volunteers who will take part in this project. These women volunteers have been given training on health, hygiene, safe drinking water, hazards of insanitation, etc. They have been also given the responsibility of sale of disinfectant solutions and plastic containers to store water. This is the most cost-effective safe drinking water. It costs only Rs. 12/- for disinfecting 1000 liters of water. A family of 5 members can consume water for 2 months. In that respect, the cost of bottled water by commercial units as well as the Delhi Jal Board is very high. (Rs. 40 for 20 liters by Bisleri and Rs. 15 for 20 liters by Jal Board).
The plus point in this project is to ensure the cheapest safe drinking water to urban slum dwellers and poor habitat areas and also women volunteers will earn money out of the sale of this product. Thus it will be a sustainable program with community participation, which will also increase the domestic economy.
Further, due to the use of safe drinking water incidence of water-borne diseases like Polio, Hepatitis, Cholera, Intestinal worms, etc. will reduce death and illness. Thus it is an innovative approach by IIHH.