The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam and NITI Aayog organized a state consultative workshop today (September 22) in Guwahati. The consultation marked the launch of a program called SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, a joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, which aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.
The SATH program embodies the philosophy of co-operative federalism. NITI Aayog selected the three states through a three-stage challenge-process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms. Finally, three states: Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka were chosen based on objective assessment criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success. A consortium of reputed technical consultants is closely working with NITI Aayog and the states to conceptualize the initiatives and provide support in the implementation process.
The reforms suggested through this workshop and the SATH program overall will follow a systems approach, rather than a systematic approach, and there will be the focus on improving infrastructure and strengthening human resources to achieve our health objectives. This workshop was key to developing partnerships and bringing convergence among different stakeholders working towards the same goal of transforming health outcomes. The event saw the participation of over 100 people including experts from development organizations such as World Bank, World Health Organization, UNDP, UNICEF and World Health Partners, officials, stakeholders and private partners from Assam’s public health system, and healthcare representatives from several districts of Assam. While NITI will be an enabler, leaders from within the state system will be created. These leaders can be from any designation or position but will be those who are committed to tangible change. The prosperity of Assam is key to a prosperous India in 2022, a critical milestone for achieving progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The workshop helped identify and build consensus on the priorities, which included strengthening of human resources, improving governance and performance management of the healthcare system, reducing maternal and child mortality especially in remote areas such as tea plantations, improving nutritional status to tackle preventable causes of morbidity and mortality and using healthcare technology for end-to-end strengthening of the health system. The action plans that were created on the priority themes in this workshop will be further detailed, planned implemented in the coming months as part of the SATH initiative.