WHEN promotes public health research for Indians by Indians. We work to build local capacity to impact local problems. We prefer to support local researchers based in India for several reasons: a) the money can be more efficiently used for the project rather than expensive international travel, b) we build local capability and research know-how which is currently lacking in India, and c) we inject a small amount of money into the local economy.
Improving Medical Education in India – In summer 2014, WHEN launched a partnership with QMed, a Mumbai-based non-profit working to expand the use of evidence-based medicine among Indian physicians. Indian medical schools currently do not train students in using the electronic medical literature and applying the latest evidence to clinical decisions and healthcare quality improvement. WHEN and QMed are launching a pilot project to design an evidence-based medicine course for a Mumbai medical school that will fill this gap. We believe that improving physicians’ ability to search and use the latest evidence in the electronic medical literature will help physicians to make more informed clinical decisions and lead to a focus on improving the quality of Indian healthcare.
Building a Network of Research Support – WHEN is currently working to build a transnational network of support for public health research in India. While research and quality improvement (QI) have become buzz words in American healthcare, there is currently virtually no home-grown public research going on in India. Our multi-pronged approach includes: 1) launching a pilot course in evidence-based medicine (EBM) at a medical school in Mumbai to foster a quality improvement (QI) mindset in Indian physicians, 2) improve access to full-text articles from the international electronic medical literature, and 3) awarding grants to Indian researchers with projects aimed at improving access to and quality of healthcare. We believe that improving local capabilities are the key to solving local problems. By gathering doctors, researchers, epidemiologists, and statisticians with a vast combined experience in public health research, WHEN hopes to promote a culture of research and quality improvement among Indian health professionals. We also believe that while millions of dollars coming from the West to India can help foster improvement in healthcare, the far greater change will come when Indian medicine and Indian society stand up and demand higher quality healthcare.