India

The Tika Vaani intervention, an initiative to improve basic health knowledge and empower beneficiaries to improve vaccination uptake and child health for underserved rural populations in India, was assessed in a pilot cluster randomized trial. The intervention was delivered through two strategies: mHealth (using mobile phones to send vaccination reminders and audio-based messages) and community mobilization (face-to-face meetings) in rural Indian villages from January to September 2018. We assessed acceptability and implementation fidelity to determine whether the intervention delivered in the pilot trial can be implemented at a larger scale. Findings demonstrated high (86.7%) implementation fidelity. A total of 94% of the target population benefited from the intervention by participating in a face-to-face group meeting or via mobile phone. The participants felt that the strategies were useful means for obtaining information. The clarity of the intervention theory, the motivation, and commitment of the implementers as well as the periodic meetings of the supervisors largely explain the high level of fidelity obtained. Geographic distance, access to a mobile phone, level of education, and gender norms are contextual factors that contributed to heterogeneity in participation. Although the intervention was evaluated in the context of a randomized trial that could explain the high level of fidelity obtained, this evaluation provides confirmatory evidence that the results of the study reflect the underlying theory. The mobile platform coupled with community mobilization was well-received by the participants and could be a useful way to improve health knowledge and change behavior.

In India, only 62% of children had received a full course of basic vaccines in 2016. We evaluated the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI), a campaign-style intervention to increase routine immunization coverage and equity in India, implemented in 2017-2018. We conducted a comparative interrupted time-series analysis using monthly district-level data on vaccine doses delivered, comparing districts participating and not participating in IMI. We estimated the impact of IMI on coverage and under-coverage (defined as the proportion of children who were unvaccinated) during the four-month implementation period and in subsequent months. During implementation, IMI increased delivery of thirteen infant vaccines by between 1.6% (95% CI: -6.4, 10.2%) and 13.8% (3.0%, 25.7%). We did not find evidence of a sustained effect during the 8 months after implementation ended. Over the 12 months from the beginning of implementation, IMI reduced under-coverage of childhood vaccination by between 3.9% (- 6.9%, 13.7%) and 35.7% (-7.5%, 77.4%). The largest estimated effects were for the first doses of vaccines against diptheria-tetanus-pertussis and polio.

BRICS’ leaders have an opportunity to pool capacity, technical expertise and financial resources to accelerate progress towards the 2020 goals for neglected tropical disease control and elimination. First, they can lead by example. Brazil, China, India and South Africa can help close the treatment gap by prioritizing neglected tropical diseases, scaling up national programmes and achieving domestic goals for control and elimination of the diseases relevant to their settings. Second, by sharing expertise each BRICS country can help other countries tackle neglected tropical diseases, through new partnerships. Third, BRICS can shape the policy agenda, increasing political commitment, mobilizing resources and implementing policies that support neglected tropical disease control and elimination on the international level.

Given the large population at risk, a cross sectional study was conducted in order to better define the burden of malaria in pregnancy in Jharkhand, a malaria-endemic state in central-east India.

A cross-sectional study conducted in two states of India during 2006-08 found a disconnect between routine antenatal practices in India and known strategies to prevent and treat malaria in pregnancy. Prevention strategies, in particular the use of insecticide-treated bednets, are underutilized.

The India Local Initiatives Program adapted a model used in Indonesia and Bangladesh to implement the government’s reproductive and child health strategy. From 1999 to 2003, three Indian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provided services for 784,000 people in four northern states.

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