Center for Maternal & Child Health

The overall objective of the collaboration is to improve child health by focusing on key interventions such as vaccine-preventable diseases and building public health capacity in India.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) will collaborate with Dr. Pradip Ghosh(donor), Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Foundation, International Institute of Innovation and Technology ( I3T ) to establish The Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Child Health and Vaccine Research and Training Center in India. The mandate of this Program is to support efforts to achieve the child health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in India.

Illustrative Research Activities

Below are the activities that will be undertaken by the proposed Program, along with overall projected budgets and timelines:

  • Cost-of-illness study: The Program proposes to lead a study aimed at understanding the cost-of-illness associated with childhood diseases both in West Bengal and other states. Such evidence can be used by policy makers when considering new public health programs and interventions.
  • National cash transfer benefit scheme implementation research: A recent example of a national cash transfer program launched by the Government of India and focused on improving maternal and child health is the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yogana (PMMVY).
  • Vaccine implementation research for the ‘zero-dose’ child: This project will help strengthen national efforts to identify vulnerable zero-dose children and bring them into mainstream care. The lessons learned from West Bengal could be transferred to other states and help implement programs to reduce the proportion of zero-dose children in India.
  • This partnership with I3T will build research capabilities in all areas of public health, for example; prevention and treatment and vaccination research of malaria, dengue, hepatitis and other infectious diseases that affect children the most.
  • I3T will bring funding from different governmental and private agencies to supplement costs toward the above-mentioned programs.
  • Projected Budget for 2020-2024: $1,500,000 – $2,000,000
  • Timeline: Based on research results from the above projects, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and local partners, we will further refine our approach in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 and look to expand those projects in Q3 and Q4 of 2022 through 2023. Knowing that we have the funding in place for these projects is essential to the long term success of our work.

Capacity building: Learning through structured courses

JHSPH has a rich tradition of offering and supporting academic training in areas of public health, with topics ranging from human rights to infectious diseases modelling, from vaccine science to public health economics. JHSPH will further strengthen the academic and research in Public Health capacity building; we would recruit qualified candidates to pursue doctoral degrees at the JHSPH. We would specifically focus on recruiting those who would return to India to teach at public health institutions related to I3T. Two illustrative examples of didactic courses are:

  • Short-courses in epidemiology and biostatistics: Courses will focus on training participants to design and interpret measures of health burden of vaccine preventable illnesses in India, association of risk factors, and effectiveness of suitable vaccine and non-vaccine interventions. Fundamental and advanced concepts in biostatistics tailored to the needs of vaccine research and child health can be integrated into the courses.
  • Vaccine science and policy courses: Blended and online short courses may be offered to enhance knowledge on vaccine science and policy, from clinical research to manufacturing strategies, global finance policies and implementation programs in India.
  • Offering academic and research programs jointly with I3T in all program areas of public health.
  • Capacity Building
  • Projected Budget for 2020-2024: $1,250,000 – $1,500,000
  • Course Development Timeline: Short courses in epidemiology, public health and biostatistics to be conducted. Gradually more extensive courses on vaccine science and policy will be offered. These courses, and additional courses based on need and demand, will be offered in 2022-2024.
  • Doctoral Training Timeline: Recruit two doctoral candidates in 2020 and 2021 (total of four students), providing full tuition, stipend, health care and travel funds to support four years of training, per student.

IVAC, in collaboration with the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Office of External Affairs, will prepare an annual report, outlining progress on each of the activities listed above. This report will include updated timelines, as well as an update on budget allocations for each area.