In 2009, in conjunction with Professor David Bloom of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor Arjun Appadurai of New York University (NYU), PUKAR initiated a project “Exploring Social Determinants of Health” in this slum. Guided by Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh, PUKAR’s Executive Director, and a neonatologist, this project culminated in more than a dozen sub-projects covering issues ranging from immunizations to water to hypertension to mental health, thus creating large sets of evidence-based data to support policy recommendations. The Barefoot Researchers staying in the community were trained in every aspect of health related research and action that lead to door to door education of each and every household about importance of immunizations, to ORS. PUKAR was successful presenting this date to the Health Commissioner of MCGM, thus brining bimonthly health camps to the slum, for the first time in 60 years of its existence and that resulted in increasing the immunization rate of children under five from 29% in 2009 to 90.7% in 2012. Throughout this project, PUKAR has created many replicable and scalable models for conducting research on slum health. The project lead to more than twelve national and international presentations in various urban health conferences and six papers published in peer reviewed journals.
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