UHCRC Project

Urban Health and Climate Resilience Center

Project Holder:
TARU Leading Edge
Project Implementer:
Surat Municipal Corporation’s Health Department
Project Period:
August 2012 – December 2015 (40 months)
Other Partners:
Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research
TARU Leading Edge (info@taru.org)

Key Issues
Climate change risks: Surat is already prone to vector-borne, rainfall variability, flooding and and potentially more prolonged water logging.
The need for Surat Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre: The city has one of the best public health care services and delivery infrastructure in the country and is considered as a model. It integrates vector breeding control measures, provision of safe water supply, collection of solid and biomedical wastes, and wastewater management. However the system needs to be strengthened in order to meet the demands of rapid urbanization and climate change. Based on the health sector study carried out in 2010 under ACCCRN, the team recommended establishing an urban health and climate resilience centre to build on the knowledge and operating procedures established in Surat, in order to provide support to the state and central level urban health support systems that incorporate climate change resilience issues.

Project Overview
The project involves establishing an Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre with the main goal to improve urban health management through evidence-based research, improved surveillance, and the development of operating procedures among city lifeline services departments. The Centre will be established within an existing institution, the Surat Municipal Corporation’s Health Department, and will be the first of its kind in the country to address public health and climate and change adaptation issues.

Key activities include:
  • Formation of a public health working group to steer the Centre’s establishment and to advise on possible climate change scenarios in the city and their impacts on existing public health systems.
  • Development of climate informed disease surveillance system which will involve the analysis of various parameters, such as the impact of climate risks on the population, and success of adaptation measures towards the improvement of health and the environment.
  • Inter-disciplinary research which will prioritize a set of research areas integrating urban health, environmental services and climate change. It will also focus on policy pathways for equitable health care for poor / vulnerable citizens.
  • The centre will establish an outreach program to promote these preventive health practices in other cities through published materials, training packages and professional networks.
Expected Impact
  • Institutionalization of water / vector  brone disease surveillance system enables improved prediction of epidemics and prevents incidents leading to epidemics; as well as, provides preventive measures in a coordinated manner with other stakeholders and agencies.
  • The project will provide support to Surat Municipal Corporation departments to implement strategies to minimize the impacts of climate change on human well-being.
  • Evidenced based understanding of climate – health linkages will be developed.
The impact will be at the city-wide level, although the centre will generate information that will be useful across the state, as well as a model that can be replicated across the country. The project contributes to building three resilience characteristics. 'Responsiveness' - the health centre represents a new form of organization that is emerging in response to urbanization and climate change. Surveillance system will allow health workers to organize a response in advance of a threat. 'Resourcefulness' - the improvement of the health information management and incorporation of climate change data into health analysis will improve actors’ ability to identify problems and provide evidence as a basis for resource requests. 'Learning' - ability to internalize past experiences and failure within the health system as a result of the  improved health information management system.

Key benificiaries
The whole city population will benefit especially poor and vulnerable groups prone to infectious diseases and vector borne diseases. A reduced disease burden will mean steadier incomes and reduced costs of medical support.

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