“Health inequalities are widening in India and access to better health care with skilled professionals is a challenge,” says Cheena Malhotra, HOPE’s Technical Advisor in India. “A trained workforce of health professionals is essential, but there is currently a lack of adequate capacity.”
Project HOPE is working to develop a more skilled health workforce in India in collaboration with public and private sectors, and Cheena provides technical and managerial leadership toward this goal. Since joining Project HOPE in 2009, she has been assisting in new program and partnership development to expand the country program portfolio for Project HOPE in India, ensuring that programs are implemented and monitored with high standards. She also builds partnerships with public health policy and program leaders to influence public health approaches for improved programming.
“Our unique and proven NCDs training and capacity-building efforts for appropriate knowledge and skills development of the health workforce has drawn attention of program and policy makers in India,” she says. “We have introduced up-to-date health techniques and issues into pre-service and in-service training curricula and use innovative ways to deliver training including distance learning.”
HOPE’s training and capacity building programs are customized and adapted to the local context, and encourage collaboration and teamwork among health professionals. Not only do the programs provide health care professionals with the latest information, tools and on-the-job mentoring, but the integrated training and development approach also has the ability to assess the skills of individuals, track progress, increase retention and implement and manage training at scale.
“Project HOPE's comprehensive training solution delivers quantifiable results and impacts,” says Cheena. “These initiatives were encouraged and appreciated by government and our key partners. We are in the process of scaling this initiative to build a more skilled health workforce in India in collaboration with government and private sector. Our capacity building models and training approach have shown a promising trend of improving the capacity of health care workers in almost 10 states in India by more than 80 percent in the post assessments.”
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