This Delhi-based not-for-profit social impact institution aims to build holistic health eco-system in India
Healthy existence is central to all human progress and a nation cannot develop with an unhealthy population. With this philosophy at the core of its existence, the Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, a not-for-profit social impact institution, is working to create multiple pathways and multilateral stakeholder engagements to find innovative and effective approaches towards building a holistic health ecosystem in India.
Kamal Narayan Omer, a former journalist, noticed several loose ends while covering many aspects of public health. From inaccessible healthcare to the big gap between coverage and care, and how they severely impact the vulnerable citizens of India, he decided to become a catalyst for change.
On a personal front, when his elder son got some dust allergy related medical complications, it gave him an even more compelling reason to seriously take up the cause of a pollution free world.
“This is the idea and inspiration behind the IHW Council, where our motto is to advocate for affordable, empathetic, and universal healthcare for all, besides working on climate change, which is a burning issue in today’s world. Today, IHW Council is that toddler that has helped me and everyone in this organisation to dream big and do something productive for our society,” says Kamal.
Through its seven-year journey, this Delhi-based organisation has worked towards holistic health awareness, advocacy, and behaviour change.
The Council works through a series of initiatives to open new platforms and forums where healthcare leaders, experts, policymakers, community leaders, and citizens come together for fruitful engagements and collaboration for facilitating holistic health and wellbeing of all.
It works towards creating awareness and advocacy for a healthier, happier world, with the core belief that health is everyone’s responsibility.
How it operates?
The IHW Council works in partnership models with organisations in the health sector, pharmaceutical companies, as well as healthcare providers.
“We also join hands with several big CSR groups in the country to execute several top initiatives related to health and healthcare awareness, especially those linked to non-communicable diseases. That is the modus operandi at IHW Council,” explains Kamal.
The organisation mainly reaches out to people and stakeholders through digital platforms such IHW.tv, physical events, multi-stakeholder forums, and through social media platforms.
The council works to identify and award path-breaking initiatives in the fields related to its ‘High Five of Health’ by individuals, industry, and government.
Among its most remarkable initiatives are ‘Shapath1000Days’ -- a three-year-long project towards facilitating the mission of eliminating anemia from India and also to support over all women and child health; RAPID Against Cancer, a global cancer prevention and care advocacy that tries to both awaken the people towards prevention of cancer and empower the healthcare system to ensure equitable care for those suffering from the disease.
Its main activities are focused on mass-level awareness on various life-threatening diseases such as stroke, diabetes, cancer, and also mental health, maternal and child health, climate change, etc.
While rasing funds daily for the initiatives are a challenge, the Council often manages it through grants and sponsorships among other contributions.
With a core team of about 30 members and with nearly 2,000 medical experts, IHW also worked extensively on creating awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of its programmes also resonate with the several government initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat, Jal Jeevan Mission, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Poshan Bharat, and Swachh Bharat, among several others.
“The COVID-19 pandemic did create some big challenges as far as our physical events and campaigns are concerned. But it created a window of opportunity in terms of virtual events in which we have been consistent and immensely successful. For instance, we have hosted more than 200 virtual events over the last two years. We also reached out to millions of people in our country and abroad through our digital presence,” says Kamal.
Speaking about the impact, Kamal says, the IHW Council is encouraging and motivating people on their health and various life-threatening diseases that are on the rise.
In May 2021, it launched ‘Janani Health Helpline’, a multilingual dedicated national women’s health helpline number to help and advice women and adolescent girls in India during COVID19 pandemic, and about pregnancy care, OB/GYNE issues, nutrition, and infant care.
Currently, 200 gynecologists are voluntarily involved with this project. Janani health helpline has been immensely successful and that’s one of its biggest success stories in terms of its initiatives.
The team is now expanding to other cities in India through its initiatives. It has already done quite a few activities in Bangladesh and has plans to do the same in other SAARC nations as well in the coming months.