Public Health Foundation of India

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public health foundatiion of india
Public Health Foundation of India
Motto Knowledge to Action
Type Autonomous Public- Private Partnership
Established March 28, 2006
President Professor K. Srinath Reddy
Administrative staff
around 900 (full-time equivalent)
Location New Delhi, India
Campus Hyderabad, Delhi, Gandhinagar, BhubaneswarGwalior (Partnership with State Institute of Health Management and Communication), Meghalaya (Upcoming).[1]

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), is an autonomous foundation located in New Delhi, India. The foundation was created as a public-private initiative and launched by the Prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh in 2006 with the aim of enhancing the capacity of public health professionals in the country over five to seven years. The PHFI initiative was collaboratively developed over two years under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Prof. K. Srinath Reddy (President, PHFI and former Head of the Department of Cardiology, AIIMS).[2][3][4] Responding to requests for information under the Right to Information Act, 2005, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and PHFI have stated that PHFI was neither a 'public-private partnership' (PPP).

India faces a severe shortfall of public health professionals, and capacity building efforts are urgently required to address its emerging public health challenges.

Public health has evolved as a multi-disciplinary science which deals with the determinants and defence of health at the population level so as to impact upon and improve the health of individuals in that population. It aims to focus on and influence the multiple determinants of health (economic, social, behavioural and biological) and to undertake and evaluate multi-sectoral interventions to positively influence those determinants. It also involves the study of health systems, their structure and management practices as channels for delivery of health services for all sections of the population.

As India experiences a rapid health transition, it is confronted both by an unfinished agenda of eliminating infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies, unsafe pregnancies and the challenge of escalating epidemics of non-communicable diseases. This composite threat to the nation’s health and development needs a concerted public health response that can ensure delivery of cost-effective interventions for health promotion, disease prevention and affordable diagnostic and the therapeutic health care.

This broad ambit makes it essential that education and training in public health is multi-disciplinary in content and that the pathways of public health action are multi-sectoral. Public health education must include subject areas like epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioural sciences, health economics, health services management, environmental health, health inequities and human rights, gender and health, health promotion and communication, ethics of health care and research. These diverse disciplines need to establish synergistic links in designing and delivering health care in prioritized sectors. It is also essential to advance a trans-disciplinary research agenda which informs policy and empowers programs. There is a constant need for surveillance, monitoring and evaluation. The interventions proposed need to be evidence based, context specific and resource sensitive. Thus public health should emphasize health promotion, disease prevention and cost effective as well as equitable health care through collective actions at various levels (viz. macro, public and private) to address the underlying causes of diseases, and foster conditions in which communities or population groups may lead healthy lives.

The Genesis of PHFI[edit]

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) was conceptualised as a response to growing concern over the emerging public health challenges in India. It recognizes the fact that meeting the shortfall of health professionals is imperative for a sustained and holistic response to the public health concerns in the country, which in turn requires health care to be addressed not only from the scientific perspective of what works, but also from the social perspective of who needs it the most. The PHFI concept was developed over two years and was collaboratively evolved through consultation with multiple constituencies including Indian and international academia, State and Central Governments in India, multi & bi-lateral agencies, civil society groups in India.

The Public Health Foundation of India[edit]

The Public Health Foundation of India is an autonomously governed public private partnership launched by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on March 28, 2006 at New Delhi. The Foundation is managed by a fully empowered, independent, governing board that is represented by multiple constituencies.


The PHFI is working towards building public health capacity by:

  • Establishing a network of new institutes of public health in India
  • Establishing strong national networks and international partnerships for research
  • Generating policy recommendations and developing vigorous advocacy platform
  • Facilitating the establishment of an independent accreditation body for degrees in public health which are awarded by training institutions across India
  • Assisting the growth of existing public health training institutions

The Board includes senior government officials, eminent Indian and International academic and scientific leaders, civil society representatives and industry leaders. The chairman of the board is N.R. Narayana Murthy.[5] Board members include: Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India), Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate)and others. The President of the Foundation is Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, a cardiologist and epidemiologist who brings in a broad range of public health experience at national and global levels.

Currently PHFI financially supported by national and international agencies namely Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Deshpande Foundation, The Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation,Vinod and Neeru Khosla, AKM Systems Private Ltd, HCL Corporation Ltd, Rohini Nilekeni, The Ranbaxy Promoter Group and Reliance Industries Limited.[6]

PHFI and IIPHs collaborate with range of institutions to improve public health in India and influence global public health. In India almost 12 state governments, including Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Ministry of Science and Technology and Planning Commission. International, with AusAID, USAID, European Commission, DFID and UN agencies (WHO, World Bank, UN World Food Programme and UNICEF).[7] The concept enjoys wide support nationally and internationally. PHFI has academic and research institute linkages of more than 30 international schools of Public Health from around the world.[8]

PHFI in the last five years grown in length and breath and has set up five Centres of Excellence(CoE) to raise awareness and strengthen research, training and education in the high priority area of public health in India.

  1. CARRS (Centre for Cardio-metabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia)[9]
  2. SACDIR (South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development and Research)[10]
  3. SANCD (South Asia Network of Chronic Disease)[11]
  4. The Ramalingaswami Centre for Social Determinants of Health[12]
  5. COMET(Centre Of Excellence on Mental health)

In addition to areas mentioned above, PHFI plans to launch CoEs in the areas of Emerging and other Communicable Diseases, Public Health Nutrition, Health Systems and Policy, Maternal and Child Health and Tribal Health.

The Indian Institutes of Public Health[edit]

The Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPH) established by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) would aim to make their education and research activities relevant to India in content and context, while attaining standards which are qualitatively comparable with the best in the world. Each IIPH would provide multidisciplinary education focused on the multiple determinants of health and the skill sets needed for designing and implementing a broad range of multi-sectoral actions required to advance public health.

Four IIPHs are currently running in Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Gandhinagar and Hyderabad. There are many more proposed public health institutes to be set up in the entire country, in this process state government of Madhya Pradesh has requested to set up the public health institute and train there public health cadre Gwalior (Partnership with State Institute of Health Management and Communication), Meghalaya (Upcoming). The IIPHs run world class academic programs and offers post graduate diploma in Public Health Management, Health Economics, Health Care Financing and Health Policy, Clinical Research and Bio-statistics and Data Management. IIPH also run distance learning programs and offer post graduate diploma in Epidemiology, Public Health Nutrition, Health Promotion with applied focus on Tobacco Control, Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment and short term course on Tobacco Control and Adolescent Health for Programme Managers in South- East Asia Region.[13] Apart from the regular and distance program IIPH also carry out the public health capacity building workshops series, research methods workshop series and training program (various IIPHs).


  1. ^ "IIPH, Academics". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "PM launches Public Health Foundation". The Indian Express. Mar 29, 2006. 
  3. ^ "PM launches Public Health Foundation". Business Line. Mar 29, 2006. 
  4. ^ "From the PM's doctor to a hero". February 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Narayana Murthyto chair PHFI". The Hindu. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "PHFI financial supporters". Public Health Foundation of India. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "PHFI Partnerships". Public Health Foundation of India. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Academics linkages of PHFI". Public Health Foundation of India. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "About CARRS". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "About SACDIR". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "SANCD official website". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "About SACDIR". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "IIPH, Academic programmes". Retrieved 3 August 2012. 

External links[edit]