All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, established in 1932 as a first school of Public Health in South-East Asia region, has been a Pioneer Institute of its kind dedicated to teaching, training, and research in various disciplines of Public Health and allied sciences to ensure capacity building in the area of Public Health. The teaching, training, and research at AIIH&PH have the unique support of its field laboratories, namely, Urban Health Center, Chetla and Rural Health Unit & Training Center, Singur.
The wider canvas available to the Institute has been signified not only by its field laboratories, but also by the diverse disciplines such as Biochemistry and Nutrition, Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Education, Maternal and Child Health, Microbiology, Occupational Health, Public Health Administration, Public Health Nursing, Environmental Sanitation and Sanitary Engineering, Preventive and Social Medicine, Behavioural Sciences, and Statistics operating here.
The achievements and contributions of the Institute have been commensurate with the prime status attached to the Institute by its founders. The list of regular courses offered by the Institute indicates that the Institute has been following a holistic approach to the issue of Public Health.
The Institute has been running a number of Short Courses / Training Programmes for different categories and groups of Health Force on a regular basis in coordination with State Governments/ Central Ministries/ International agencies / etc.
Apart from assuring the nation on the availability of competent Human Resource on Health, and undertaking research to find solutions to the Public Health Challenges, the Institute has undertaken several notable initiatives. This is evident from the following indicative instances.
It is credited for conducting the first general health survey of nearly 7,000 members in 68 villages of West Bengal in 1944 to obtain an integrated picture of health conditions of the people and factors influencing community health.
In 1944, the system of Primary Health Centres as well as Primary Health Care Delivery System in India across the length and breadth of the country was espoused by Sir Joseph Bhore on the basis of his exposure to the Rural Health Centre at Singur.
In the late 40s, AIIH&PH developed low cost pour flush toilets with on-site disposal. It is also credited for the development of a model for maintenance of hand-pumps for community water supply.
The Government of India embarked on health education for family planning methods and distribution of temporary contraceptive measures throughout India only after the Rural Health Unit & Training Center, Singur conducted a proper study on the issue in 1957 and confirmed the need and acceptability of the same.
International Training Network (ITN) Centre at AIIH&PH was established for water and waste management in 1984 as a component of UNDP/World Bank water and sanitation programme.
AIIH&PH served as the Regional Centre for setting up district level laboratories in Eastern and North Eastern Region of the Country for water quality testing under national drinking water mission undertaken by the Department of Rural Development, Government of India.
Development of the Calcutta Model for Street Food Vending in Kolkata (1992-93) based on two years study by the All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health in cooperation with the Calcutta Municipal Corporation under the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme.
Coordination of the National Pilot Programme (1995-2007) of the Department of Health and family Welfare, Government of India on Control of Micronutrient Malnutrition in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Tripura and Gujarat for baseline situation analysis on micronutrient deficiencies and their causative factors and formulation of strategies and interventions for prevention and control of micronutrient malnutrition.
The Institute had been a WHO collaborating center for Disaster Management and Central Training Institute for IEC trainings. Moreover, WHO has been engaging faculty of AIIH&PH as resource persons for international training programs in capacity building for health promotion.
The problem of high concentration of arsenic in ground water in Districts of South 24 Parganas and Malda in West Bengal and the development of Arsenicosis in persons drinking the highly contaminated ground water was the highlight of the study conducted by the Institute in collaboration with the School of Tropical Medicine in 2008 under the financial support by the Department of Health, Government of West Bengal and WHO Country Office in India.
The Institute has been serving as the nodal Institute for the North Eastern States of India in Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
This Institute has been actively involved in the training of the State and District level Public Health Officers and Microbiologists working in Public Health Laboratories in the seven North Eastern States and also Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The Institute has also played a Key Role in HIV Sentinel Surveillance under the auspices of the National AIDS Control Program (NACO). The Institute again performed as the nodal Institute for the Seven North Eastern States including the state of West Bengal in estimating the risk of HIV infectivity in different behavioural groups.
The Institute has contributed in epidemic surveillance and containment of communicable diseases. Faculty from this institute pay regular visits to the disaster affected areas to help the local health department and the civil administration in instituting control and containment measures and help organization of rehabilitation and relief measures.
A number of research papers on public health are being published in different indexed Journals every year by the faculty and the students of the Institute.
Campus of the Institute
The Institute has two campuses, one at 110, C R Avenue, Kolkata 700073 and another at JC 27 and JC 27 B, Sector III, Salt Lake, Kolkata -700 089. The former is known as the main campus and the later as B N Campus. In addition to the two campuses, there is a Rural Health Unit and Training Centre at Singur, Hoogly, West Bengal and an Urban Health Centre at Chetla, Kolkata. The Rural Health Unit and Training Centre at Singur apart from working as a training centre and field laboratory takes care of the health need of 64 villages having population of about 1,00,000. The Urban Health Centre, Chetla also functions as a training centre and field laboratory and takes care of the health need of about 1,25,000 persons. However, in Chetla the focus is on the slum population of 35,000. Recently the Institute has taken over the Farraka Barrage Project hospital and is in the process of upgrading the same for better and wider service.
The All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health has been running two types of courses, one recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the other recognized by the West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS). Even for MCI recognized courses, the certificate/degree is issued by WBUHS. The MCI recognized courses are Diploma in Maternal & Child Welfare, MD (Community Medicine), and Diploma in Public Health. Diploma in Industrial Health, earlier recognized by MCI has been dropped. The other courses run by the Institute are M.Sc. (Applied Nutrition), Diploma in Dietetics, Master of Engineering (Public Health), Master in Public Health (Epidemiology), Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Management, Diploma in Health Promotion & Education, Master of Veterinary Public Health, Diploma in Public Health Nursing, and Diploma in Health Statistics.
The Institute is headed by Dr. Rama Ranjan Pati, Director. On academic issues, he is assisted by Dr. Debashish Dutt, Dean and HODs of various departments. Moreover, important issues are deliberated in the Faculty Council Meetings for a considerate decision. On administrative issues, Dr. Bhashkar Sen, Additional Director and his team provide necessary assistance.
Address for correspondence
All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, 110, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata-700073.