Reasearch Programmes

1. Project Oriented Biological Research(POBR)
Another initiative in promoting scientific research from undergraduate level we have initiated programmes in biology to begin with. The Project Oriented Biological Research Programme has completed 5 years. Ten meritorious students are selected from across the country for each of this programme. As part of this, students undertake work with faculty members of the Institute on small projects during their mid-semester breaks. They also attend special lectures and seminars at the Institute. On completion of their training they are issued a Diploma certificate in Biology. 2. The Institute also organizes workshops for teachers and students of schools for popularizing science. The Institute, through Educational &Training Technology Unit, is actively involved in the concept, production and development of multimedia CD-ROMs especially for school students and teachers in various disciplines of science. The content has also been developed in vernacular languages to science popularization programs in various parts of the country.
As part of its Science Outreach Programme, in 2011 the AIIMSD initiated a new programme in biology for undergraduate students from other Institutions. Selected students are exposed to the concepts and methodologies driving integrative research in biology today, through a combination of lectures, laboratory projects and research. The programme will be conducted during the summer &winter vacation for a period of 3 to 6 Months. Students selected are expected to work at the institute for three consecutive summers and successful candidates will receive Diploma in Biology from the institute. Whenever possible, students will be allowed to work in the Institute during midsemester vacations as well. Specialization in a more focused area of research will be possible during the second and third years. Those who complete the POBR programme with outstanding performance will be eligible for admission to the Higher Study/Jobs trainee programme of the Institute subject to a satisfactory performance in the interview.
Eligiblity:
Students presently studying in 1st year of three year B.Sc programme only (in any science stream) are eligible to apply.
Fellowships:
The total number of Fellowships offered will be upto 10. A scholarship of Rs. 5000/- per students will be provided.
Announcement of selected candidates:
Only selected candidates will be intimated by first week of October  & May every year and the list will also be available on the notice board/website. Mere applying to the programme and satisfying the eligibility criteria does not guarantee selection. The candidates have to indicate their acceptance within two weeks of email sent or else it will be presumed that they are not interested in joining the programme and the offer will be automatically cancelled and offered to the person in the waitlist.

2. EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY BASED MONITORING ACTIVITIES
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) seeks to provide universal access to equitable and affordable quality health care, responsive to the needs of the people. Community-based monitoring (CBM) of health services is an important strategy for achieving this goal. In Uttar Pradesh, a CBM pilot project has proposed and is under process. Initially, meetings were held in the villages to discuss the importance of community involvement in health monitoring and planning. A Village Health and Sanitation Committee were formed in each village. A three-day workshop was organised for the members. Themes covered in the training were right to health, NRHM objectives, importance of community participation in health planning and monitoring, responsibilities of the committee, proper use of funds and so on. Poster display, village notice boards, AIIMSD newsletter were used extensively to create awareness in the village. Discussions with community members, especially women and marginal groups, were held to understand their assessment of health services in their village. Based on their experience, a health service report card was prepared which covered the services of MPW, ANM and Anganwadi worker; the status of antenatal and postnatal care as well as infant and maternal mortality rate. Similar activity was taken up every 3 months for nutrition, water supply and sanitation issues in the villages.
Public Hearing
The next step was organising Jansunvai (Public Hearing), where the community members could voice their grievances in the presence of government health providers and administrators. These meetings were organised, followed by representation of the demands to the Primary Health Institute Monitoring and Planning The PHC Monitoring and Planning Committee was immediately formed and its members were given training to enable them to perform their tasks competently. The committee reviewed the PHC work and sent its report to the Block Monitoring and Planning Committee, and to the district-level Jansunvai.
Impact of Project:-
The impact of these activities could be seen in two spheres: first the people are more aware now of their rights and, secondly, government officials are answerable to them. They know their own responsibility. There is also an improvement in terms of behavioural change in health service providers and availability of better antenatal care. Other service providers such as Multipurpose Workers and anganwadi workers have likewise realised that they are accountable to the people. However, there are issues such as shortage of medicines and manpower or lack of proper infrastructure, which need to be addressed at a higher level and would be taken up in district and state-level meetings. The next stage of CBM is people's participation in health planning. Meetings and discussions are being held to prepare the community for a more active role in defining local needs, planning and use of available resources, with a focus on capacity building of Panchayat Raj institution members.

3. STUDY OF PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGENCY OBSTETRIC CARE
The National Rural Health Mission has introduced and advocated the idea of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to ensure the availability of emergency obstetric care (EmOC), a central factor in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. The AIIMSD conducted a study with the aim to understand issues in the design and implementation of the PPPs for EmOC under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) in U.P. The researchers used qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions to assimilate experiences of women, EmOC providers and administrators of JSY. The study brought in to light important lacunae in the system. Based on these findings a larger study was undertaken in different districts of U.P using a mixed methods approach. This involved a survey of all secondary and tertiary public facilities in study districts to assess.
Equippedness to provide EmOC and issues with implementation of PPPs for the same. Also the influence of PPPs on access of poor women to EmOC was studied through a birth survey among JSY eligible mothers in selected villages. Women reporting birth complications were interviewed for further understanding of issues with access to EmOC. Public and private EmOC providers were interviewed as also administrators at various levels. These studies identify areas for improvement in effective EmOC provision and mechanisms for successful PPPs.

4. CONTROL OF WATERBORNE DISEASES
Diarrhoea caused by intestinal pathogens is the single largest cause of infant and child mortality in India, taking a toll of 1.3 million children under the age of 5 every year. It is also the second largest cause of morbidity in rural areas. India loses about Rs. 36,598 crore every year due to water-borne diseases.
AIIMSD study area -- diarrhoeal diseases constitute 11.5% of all morbidities in a year, posing a challenge to health workers. A study of bacteriological quality of water supplies in the area was undertaken in partnership with the Research Institute, aimed at generating a movement towards better water quality management at the local level. Samples of water were collected from water sources, storage tanks, stand posts and household storage in 5 villages over a period of one year. Findings and analysis of testing done at the lab were constantly shared with the community.

5. Measures to ensure improvement in the quality of drinking water have been taken. These include :
Communication among technical personnel, watermen and the community has been established.
Water pasteurization during ongoing cooking chores and use of copper wire were tested in the lab and implemented in the field.
Eco groups were formed in schools, as children are seen as catalysts for attitudinal change in the community
Activities such as awareness generation, information dissemination, and demonstration of appropriate methods of water storage and handling were taken up through the Eco groups.
Impact of study:-
Positive results were observed in terms of community action of voluntary cleaning of wells and changing old ways of storing and handling water. It has been observed that in the villages, herbal medicines are used widely to treat diarrhoea. The local traditional healers dispense plant medicines that are effective for many ailments, including diarrhoea. Through interviews with traditional healers, indigenous communities and village elders, 198 medicinal plants used by the rural population were documented.
Of these, 31 plants were found to be used by the community for treating diarrhoea. Anti- diarrhoeal activity six plants documented in this study has not been reported previously. Plant parts used, preparation and dosage of medicine practised by the community were also documented. 7 plants that were used most widely by the community were tested in the lab to understand their mode of action and efficacy. As Guava (Psidium guajava) leaves were found to be most effective, the community health workers tried to popularise its use for treatment of diarrhoeal diseases in the community.
Around the same period, a study of sacred groves in the valley was undertaken in partnership with the Naoroji Godrej Institute for Plant Research to understand the importance of sacred groves as common natural resource bases and their status in the cultural life of the community. Fourteen sacred groves were documented through the seasons. The study emphasizes their importance as mini-sanctuaries of many medicinal plants and other threatened plant species. It underlines the necessity to preserve these groves and suggests that their protection and enhancement should be made part of village and forest planning.

6.Evaluation of Janani Suraksha Yojana
The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) was launched by the Government of India in 2005 under the umbrella of National Rural Health Mission. The JSY aims at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and promoting institutional deliveries amongst poor women along with providing 24-hour emergency obstetric care. These are seen as a crucial means to achieve the JSY goal. After almost four years of operationalization and expenditure of Rs.1241 crores, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare felt the need to evaluate the scheme.
The JSY has special focus on low-performing states (states having low rate of institutional deliveries), Uttarakhand being one of them. The AIIMSD carried out an evaluative study in districts of U.P. The study was conducted in two phases. The first phase focused on the public health care facilities throughout the district. A survey of District Hospital, community health Institutes, primary health Institutes and sub Institutes was taken up to assess the capacity of these Institutes in terms of infrastructure and personnel. This was done with the help of record review, interviews with staff members and observation of facilities, supported by visual documentation.
The second phase focused on user perspective, interviewing women beneficiaries and community members in villages of District. The exercise helped in assessing the reach and impact of the JSY. Recommendations based on this data are expected to help in improving the efficacy of JSY and suggest approaches for improvement in other public-private partnership ventures of the government.