India is witnessing rapid urbanisation. Almost one-third of the Indian population now resides in urban areas (as per 2011 Census). Poor nutrition, poor access to affordable and quality healthcare, poor environmental conditions and the high prevalence of infectious diseases contribute to high maternal and child morbidity and mortality among the urban poor.
PFI had entered into a partnership with USAID India in October 2009 to start a pioneering and comprehensive Health of the Urban Poor (HUP) programme. The programme, which concluded in 2015, envisaged the development of a responsive, functional and sustainable urban health system that provides need-based, affordable and accessible quality healthcare and improved sanitation and hygiene to the urban poor.
Between 2009 and 2013, the programme was initiated in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and the five cities of Agra, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Jaipur and Pune. Informed by its experience and learning, the programme was then scaled up between 2013 and 2015 to 18 cities in the EAG states and two mega million cities of Kolkata and Bengaluru, for implementing the National Urban Health Mission.
PFI continues to support the implementation of the NUHM, using the learning of the HUP program as part of a consortium, led by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), to provide technical assistance to the National Urban Health Mission. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a period of one year (2015-16). It helps the government put in place appropriate systems for implementation, which include a vulnerability mapping of cities, putting in place a quality assurance system for urban health facilities, and robust systems of capacity building for the managers and city service providers.