To increase access to healthcare services and improve health outcomes for rural populations, IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health (ICTPH) has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, USA to pilot the functionality and viability of nurse-managed Rural Micro Health Centres (RMHC) in Tamil Nadu.
Through the first stage of the partnership, which was signed in January and remains in effect until the end of the year, Penn Nursing faculty will collaborate with the ICTPH team to develop Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) education in India, enhance census survey data analysis and work on other areas of research. The full impact of the partnership is expected to last years.
Welcoming the move, N Vaghul, chairman, IKP Trust said, "IKP's Knowledge Park in Hyderabad has developed a decade long tradition as an innovation hub in R&D and incubation for the pharmaceutical and chemical sector. ICTPH has now added another dimension to our work at IKP by connecting research, both in the diagnostic and healthcare delivery domain, to the urgent needs of developing countries. Our partnership with Penn Nursing provides an excellent platform for conceptualizing ICTPH as a Centre for Excellence, focused on enhancing research capabilities for human resources within the health sector."
On this development, Dr Zeena Johar, president, ICTPH said, "This partnership provides an opportunity for ICTPH to unlock and translate the Penn Nursing legacy of pioneering the US Nurse Practitioner movement for the Indian subcontinent. We aim to critically evaluate various healthcare delivery models in order to achieve the appropriate balance between technically qualified medical personnel and local village outreach health volunteers addressing observed issues of accessibility and affordability."
"This partnership will bring together the strengths of Penn Nursing to establish and evaluate nursing models of care and ICTPH's innovations in public health to build nursing capacity and creatively resolve gaps in primary health care for rural India," said Penn Nursing professor Eileen Sullivan-Marx, who will recruit Penn nurses for the project, provide educational consultation, develop and evaluate the strategies to provide APN care at RMHCs.
"Penn has a global mission, and we encourage our students to learn in global environments and sustain relationship with the world community. This partnership is also a way to develop nursing in India as an alternative to the emigration of nurses from India to other parts of the world. By developing internal models of nursing care in India that use APN in partnership with community health workers and other professions, nurses will be more likely to return or stay in the country," said Penn Nursing Dean Afaf I Meleis.