The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) was formed in 2001, with the coming together of 18 national networks that had organised activities across the country in 2000, in the lead up to the First Global Peoples Health Assembly, in Dhaka, in December 2000. The JSA forms the Indian regional circle of the global People’s Health Movement (PHM). At present it is the major national platform that co-ordinates activities and actions on health and health care across the country.
The JSA, today, is constituted of by 21 national networks and organisations and state level JSA platforms (which are present in almost all states in the country). Network partners of the JSA include a range of organisations, including NGOs working in the area of health, feminist organisations, peoples science organisations, service delivery networks and trade unions.
Perspective and Objectives
The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan believes that despite medical advances and increasing average life expectancy, there is disturbing evidence of rising disparities in health status among people in India and worldwide. Enduring poverty with all its facets and in addition, resurgence of communicable diseases including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and weakening of public health systems is leading to reversal of previous health gains.
The major objectives of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (set out in detail in the Peoples Health Charter) include:
- JSA aims to draw public attention to the adverse impact of the policies of iniquitous globalization on the health of Indian people, especially on the health of the poor.
- The JSA locates the campaign to achieve ‘Health For All’ in the campaign to establish the Right to Health and Health Care as basic human rights.
- The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan expresses the need to confront commercialization of health care, while establishing minimum standards and rational treatment guidelines for health care.
- The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan feels that there is an urgent need to promote decentralization of health care and build up integrated, comprehensive and participatory approaches to health care that places “Peoples Health in Peoples Hands”.
- JSA seeks to network with all those interested in promoting peoples’ health. It seeks to initiate and promote a wide variety of people’s initiatives that would help the poor and the marginalized to organize and access better health care, while contributing to building long-term and sustainable solutions to health problems.
Thematic areas of JSA’s activities
The important areas of immediate concern and continuing activities include:
- Strengthening the Public Sector
- Policy level interventions for Right to Health and Health Care
- Primary Health Care and health systems that can provide access to health care services for the poor and the marginalized
- Community Health Worker Programmes and Community Based Monitoring of Health services
- Human Resource Development for Health Care
- Mental Health issues
- HIV and AIDS
- Women’s health rights and gender equity
- Violence & Women’s Health
- Reproductive and Medical technologies including Gender based sex selective technologies, ARTs)
- Reproductive and Sexual health and rights
- Maternal Health
- Two Child Norm and Population policies
- Access to Medicines and Rational use of medicines
- Rational Drugs and Diagnostics
- Provision of free drugs through public facilities
- WTO, Intellectual property rights and Pharmaceuticals policy
- Trends in Drug Research
- Privatization and public private partnerships
- Privatization of health services and the commercialization of health care
- The impact of government funded health insurance schemes, designed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in promoting commercialisation of health care
- Regulation of the health sector
- Clinical Establishment Acts
- Medical Professional Reform and Regulation of medical practice
- Social determinants of health
- Child Health and Malnutrition
- Right to Food and investigation of hunger related deaths
- Health care in conflict situations
- Indigenous Medicine and Folk healing traditions
- Drinking Water, Sanitation, Environment & Health
- Health among Displaced people, Adivasis and other marginalized sections
- Tobacco Control for better health