New Delhi, India is the second most populous city in the world, featuring dazzling cities and stunning historical and architectural sites. Determinants of health in India include poverty, malnutrition and inadequate public healthcare. Despite these challenges, India offers a myriad of innovations in public health education and delivery.
During this program, learn from various NGO’s, CBO’s and public sector agencies working to improve public health outcomes. Understand the lingering impacts of India’s caste system and realities of implementing public health initiatives within a highly diverse population. Key program themes include sanitation and hygiene, social services safety net, health education and harm reduction for HIV/AIDS, programs for marginalized populations and determinants of health, among others. Interested students can also request to focus their time in Delhi on Palliative Care or Ophthalmology.
Become immersed in Indian culture while living in an apartment in residential south Delhi. Frequent museums, restaurants, and shops and visit World Heritage sites like the Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. Participants may also choose to organize weekend trips to the spectacular Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, Amritsar and Rishikesh.
Indian culture is unique and one of the oldest. There is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. Each state can be considered a country within a country. If compared, there is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India’s.
With almost 1.4 billion people, India is home to bustling cities, lush mountains and a diverse population. There are over 30 languages spoken across India’s 28 states and 8 union territories. The country is also the birthplace of 4 of the world’s major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism-and home to 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. India boasts a rich history, vibrant and colorful culture, and diverse and magnificent landscapes, including architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple.
Program participants will find their home away from home in comfortable apartments, screened by CFHI Local Coordinators in Delhi and following CFHI’s health and safety guidelines. Nestled within a residential area of Delhi and close to the CFHI India Director’s home, these 2-3 bedroom apartments offer the perfect blend of comfort and authenticity, with excellent access to public transportation, banks and ATMs, a department store, a movie theatre, and internet cafes. At the apartment, there will be a local caretaker on site who will cook and provide cleaning. In some cases, CFHI scholars share the apartment and/or a room with fellow program participants.
Going beyond mere lodging, staying in a local apartment provides a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture. Accommodations include two meals per day. At the welcome orientation, participants will be instructed on culture and work etiquette to have the best experience in both the home and the health settings.
Participants should arrive in Delhi, India on the program start date. They will be picked up from the airport by a CFHI representative and taken to their housing. A welcome orientation will take place the Sunday or Monday after arrival.
US citizens and others should apply for an Indian tourist e-visa in advance. More information and specific instructions on visa applications will be provided by CFHI after acceptance into the program.
Uniquely, 60% or more of CFHI student program fees go directly to the communities they will be visiting, benefiting the local economy at large and specifically underserved health systems.
CFHI participants have free time during most evenings and weekends and may choose to organize weekend trips to nearby destinations and take part in cultural activities offered within Delhi itself.
Visit Delhi’s numerous museums, restaurants, and shops or visit World Heritage sites like the Red Fort or Humayun’s Tomb. CFHI participants may also choose to organize trips to the spectacular Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
During your time in Delhi, you will visit the old Delhi area and the rotations will include the TB DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) Center, needle exchange and safe disposal system, shelters for homeless run by the NGOs with the support of Government of Delhi and other health outreach activities.
The other two weeks in Delhi could include Sulabh International, Venu Eye Center, DOTS Center, Voluntary Counseling and Training Centre in a truck-yard, a potential day visit to Village Alwar, Rural Hospital, a brief interaction with the a pediatrician about the health systems and compulsory vaccinations for infants and children, juvenile de-addiction center and a transgender center, depending on the availability of program sites.
When available, students will spend one week in Chandigarh, where you will be exposed to maternal, child and adolescent health issues, rural health services, especially the programs designed by the government for health awareness among rural populations, and other public health areas. You may also have a chance to work on any project of mutual benefit with the local non-profit as a service learning opportunity. The project will be assigned keep your strengths and interests in mind.
A typical day lasts from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, though on some days, you may start or finish earlier.
Participants of this program will be placed in public health settings, including an array of non-governmental organizations (NGO) stepping in to address the gaps in health services in low-resource populations. This provides a unique learning opportunity and in-depth exposure to public health in India. Most New Delhi-based CFHI participants complete the Public Health Delivery Innovations and Community Medicine track, but the Ophthalmology and End-of-Life & Palliative Care tracks are also available.
Though many of the placements and site visits incorporate more than one theme, the Public Health Delivery Innovations and Community Medicine program centers around five themes: Water and Sanitation, Social Services, Education, Safety Net for Marginalized Populations and Gender and Women’s Empowerment.
Students may travel to different locations during the program, depending on the number of students participating that month. Students will be able to see the realities of public health in Northern India in various settings. These potential settings include clinical observation in a hospital/clinic, hands-on work in the communities with non-government organizations (NGOs). Clinical exposure for this program is limited, however on the ophthalmology and palliative care tracks, there is more opportunity for clinical observation.
In this program, join an NGO in their efforts to reduce preventable visual impairment. Located in Delhi, this NGO’s mission is to bring quality eye care to the doorstep of those living with visual impairments, the majority of whom live below the poverty line in urban slums and rural areas of India. In operation for over 25 years, the organization strives to bring some of the most sophisticated diagnostic and surgical facilities available to patients, regardless of their ability to pay for these services.
During this clinically-focused program, participants will undertake observational rotations under local healthcare workers in all departments of the CFHI partner institute’s hospital in Delhi. As available, participants may join primary mobile eye care clinics, observe ophthalmic procedures in operating theater, participate in advanced level classes at the institute and witness their community-based rehabilitation program, which includes training for community level field workers at satellite hospitals in surrounding villages. Students will be based in Delhi and take trips to surrounding villages and towns.
CanSupport is working towards a caring and supportive society where people with cancer and their families live with dignity, hope and comfort. It is the mission of CanSupport to enable these people to make informed choices while receiving appropriate physical, emotional, social and spiritual support. CanSupport runs India’s largest free home-based palliative care program. At any given time, the palliative care teams are caring for 2,600 cancer patients and their families. CanSupport also runs out-patient clinics, day care centers and training programs. This program will also comprise of a few activities of interest of Public Health Focus.
CFHI’s India Programs Director, Hema Pandey, coordinates activities for all CFHI programs in India. Hema has been instrumental in establishing CFHI’s growing presence in India, developing new program sites and researching CFHI’s growth potential in-country. She has worked for CFHI since 2005. With more than 25 years of experience in the health field, Hema has handled a wide range of projects for government and non-government organizations in India, including the Indian government’s Year of Scientific Awareness (YSA) 2004, which highlighted needs and issues related to disaster preparedness, health & nutrition and soil & water conservation.
Hema has represented CFHI at important international conferences and events including being on a Panel at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York in 2010, participating in discussion about “Women in Leadership Roles in Male Dominated Societies”.
Hema enjoys helping CFHI students achieve academic and personal goals, and developing leadership skills during their time in the program. She loves to volunteer in her free time and has been actively involved with Delhi Education Department working in the development of government schools and student learning in South Delhi. She is also the honorary Member Secretary for an Ethics Committee. Hema enjoys photography and traveling with family.
The role of CFHI Medical Director is to arrange clinical and public health placements, supervise participant experiences at these sites, and provide lectures on various health topics.
A pathologist by profession, and an innovator by heart – Dr. Raina earned his MBBS degree from University of Jammu, MD in Pathology from Punjab University and PGDHA degree from Delhi University.
Being a person who reached zenith in his career at a very early stage in his life, he has always been attracted to unstructured, untouched problems. Dr. Raina is a successful entrepreneur and a leader in multiple businesses and social organizations. He has always worked in unexplored domains and has successfully translated these on-ground.
Dr. Raina is the founder and president of a Not for Profit- GeneBandhu, where he dedicates 10% of his time. He is also the co-founder of Aakash Hospital, South Extension New Delhi. Dr. Raina was the former Director of Laboratory Services and transfusion Medicine at Medanta-The Medicity. Prior to Medanta, he served as Senior Consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in the Molecular Genetics Department.
This CFHI program is ideal for participants who are 19 years of age or older, who have an interest in fields related to public health, ophthalmology, and/or end-of-life and palliative care. You do not need to be a student to be eligible for this program; mid-career professionals, GAP year learners, and others are also welcome. This program will provide an in-depth overview of public health, ophthalmology, and/or end-of-life and palliative care in India through rotations within various NGO’s and clinics in Delhi. To confirm your eligibility, please read CFHI’s general eligibility requirements.
“My internship with Child Family Health International (CFHI) in India helped broaden my perspective of public health and what I want to do with my life in general. It helped me not only mature professionally but emotionally and spiritually… It was a connection that I felt with the people, the environment, the culture and the struggle that has reignited my passion in medicine and public health. The people, culture, diversity, and the resilience of the nation has inspired me to one day bring hope into the lives of those who feel the world no longer loves them, and that is something that I will fight for regardless of the struggle before me.”
“Even though this is not my first time seeing such issues in developing countries, I had never faced them on such a grand and ubiquitous scale. Learning about these problems, being exposed to them, talking to those affected by them, are all very important reasons for me to question why I’m going into medicine, what is really driving me. Though this does remind me that I want to study medicine to serve and help people and it inspires me to be a better person, it also leaves me..” Read More.
“One of my favorite weeks was the final week I spent in Delhi volunteering at a juvenile de-addiction center. I was able to sit in on counseling sessions, life skills classes, literacy/math classes, and group therapy sessions. It was an incredible learning experience and an amazing program with extremely devoted staff.”
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Complete pre-departure training and requirements