Health Research Fellowship Awards 2023

George Institute researchers secure DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Clinical and Public Health Research Fellowship Awards 2023

Early Career Fellowship

  1. Developing and testing An intervention to promote psYchological wellbeing Among Scheduled TRibe communities in Andhra Pradesh. (DAYARA)

The Scheduled Tribes (constitutional term for tribal communities in India) make up about 8% of the nation’s population. Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities fall below the national average in most socio-economic indicators. There is limited research on the mental health status and needs for ST population. In a previous study done in the same area, about 5% of adult population screened positive for anxiety and depression. Improved psychological wellbeing and promotion of mental health can prevent mental morbidity.

Through this study, Dr Ankita Mukherjee aims to co-create and test feasibility and acceptability of a culturally appropriate peer-led, mental health promotion intervention, for ST communities in Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh. The intervention will use 3 strategies to improve psychological wellbeing (1) competency enhancement (2) arts and culture-based strategies (3) empowering communities to access social entitlements. Peers (Community Champions) will deliver the intervention. A local Expert Advisory Group will advise on design and delivery of the intervention components.

Senior Fellowship

  1. PATANG: Promoting community Action for health – a co-produced, Technology-enabled platform to Achieve National Goals

Prior work and scoping done by Dr Devaki Nambiar suggests that six states in particular have evolved Community Action in Health (CAH) exemplars, i.e., Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Kerala. However, the methods used to evaluate and understand how such initiatives are formed and their impacts are diverse. The scalability, sustainability and cost of these initiatives are also under-studied. Consequently, there is limited knowledge on whether/how to adopt or adapt successful initiatives across contexts or at scale in India, even as in May of 2024, a World Health Assembly resolution on Social Participation for Health is to be tabled.

In this study, Dr Nambiar proposes to co-produce and evaluate PATANG, a co-produced technology-enabled learning platform for CAH, where government and civil society actors may share experience and evidence related to CAH, network and interact with others to adapt and scale up CAH and access practical tools to design and evaluate CAH initiatives.