See a full report on Dr Himansu and the Calmed activity at Rotary’s 2017 Atlanta Convention at our Papers & Resources page.
A number of activities related to the Calmed programme have taken place at the beginning of 2017, here is a summary for the major visits / events.
Himansu Basu attended the All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AICOG) in Ahmedabad, India (over 11 thousand registrants) and participated in a panel on Maternal Mortality Reduction, sharing details of the Calmed programme. It was a privilege to share platform with many distinguished speakers including Sir Arul ( Past President of FIGO, BMA and RCOG) and Prof Dileep Mavalankar ( Director of Indian Institute of Public Health) – they are supportive of the Calmed programme which received good exposure.
Dr Basu met with Gujarat Government Officials Chief Secretary Dr. Jagadip Singh and NHM Director Dr Prakash Vaghale, discussing the last 3 years’ Calmed programme in Gujarat and the way forward there.
Visiting the Indian Institute of Public Health, he was welcomed by Director Prof Dileep Mavalankar. Discussions centred on the Institute’s role which included maternal and child health care improvements, including substantial elements of community Obstetrics and Community Gynaecology. It was agreed that discussions should look at education and research at the Academy level, possibly linking clinical care with a Medical College. Opportunities for collaboration with Obstetrical Societies ( SOGOG) and Ahmedabad Obstetric and Gynaecologic Society ( AOGYS) and Medical Associations should be explored.
The 3rd Calmed visit to Bjuj took place on 31st January, with a VTT consisting of Rtn. Drs. Upendra Vasavada( from Gujarat) ,Dr. Ishita Mishra ( from Mumbai) and myself.
We supervised 9 Master Trainers (including Dr. Prasanta Kumar Deka, Assistant Professor at the GAIMS). 9 (previously ‘Calmed’ trained) local Master trainers trained 28 trainees (Medical officers, ANM and GNM) and 12 ASHA trainers, at the Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences (GAIMS).
Pre and post test scores of knowledge and skills showed highly significant improvement. There was good feedback from the trainers and trainees about the high quality of the training methods, and their positive impact in their practice.
Paul Harris Fellowship recognition was given to local Calmed VTT members Rtn Upendra Vasavada and Dr. Ishita Mishra. Dr. Gyaneshwar Rao’s special contribution was marked with a specially made plaque of Rotary Bandhu
Dr Basu followed up Rotary contacts in Odisha regarding the urgent needs for maternal, and of the great strides already being made by the Government.
He visit was arranged to health in Odisha and discuss possible implementation of the Calmed model with adaptation suited to the local circumstances.
Dr Basu visited Odisha to gain first-hand knowledge of the status of maternal mortality reduction strategies in the state. With local Rotary leaders DG Brig Narayan Nayak, PDG Dhirendra Padhi , and Dr. Santosh Mishra, he met Odisha Government Officials including Principal Secretary Dr. Pramod Kumar Meherda ,IAS and NHM Mission Director Ms. Shalini Pandit to exchange information on the Government strategy and the Calmed programme.
Dr Basu explained the high quality Calmed strategic programme, based on the principle of countering medical, public health and societal/cultural issues associated with maternal mortality in low resource settings. The state initiated programme would be more effective in achieving its objectives, through support from the Calmed programme. Sustainability would be assured through simulation training , mentoring and return visits as demonstrated by the successful programes in Sikkim and Gujarat.
He visited the SCB Medical College, the Government Training Centre and a Skills Laboratory at the Nursing Training Centre (all in Bhubaneshwar), to see the feasibility of presenting the Calmed programme through a partnership model. Rotarians and the Rotary Foundation(TRF) could work with the Government of Odisha in adding further initiatives including simulation training and resources through the Calmed template, working in a manageable target area (covering a population of 1 to 2 million) selected by the Government for its need.
Dr Basu experienced great Rotary friendship and support from many members of the District 1120 and the host Districts and Rotary Clubs in India whom he visited, and wishes to thank them for their hospitality.
See attached ‘Report on Calmed Visits 2017’ (under ‘Papers & Resources)) the full report on these activities.
A Happy (VTT) New Year ! – Calmed programme extends
Good News for the year 2017! PDG Dr Himansu Basu has been invited to initiate another maternal mortality reduction programme for a new VTT Calmed medical mission to India. Centred on the state of Odisha in north east India, we will be taking a team to spread further the award winning ‘Calmed’ approach to combat the high rate of maternal and infant deaths in the sub-continent. With the support of the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Districts 1120 (UK) and 3262 (India), our team of obstetricians and gynaecologists will pass on the best knowledge, skills and practice to the local Medical and associated professions in Odisha.
The aim again is to attack the medical, public health and cultural issues associated with the ‘3 delays’ which cause unnecessary deaths of so many mothers and babies. We will concentrate on improving maternity knowledge and practices right down to village level, highlight the fatal consequences of existing delays in getting mother and baby to treatment, and increase the awareness of the medical profession of modern skills and techniques which are lifesavers when applied at the earliest possible moment. We will ensure that the benefits and changes are sustained through local ownership and empowerment.
PDG Dr. Himansu Basu and PP Terry Kinsman will be visiting Bhubaneswar (capital of Odisha) in February 2017 to meet Rotarians, Government officials, community leaders and Professional representatives, hold discussions and initiate planning processes which will need to be in place for a full VTT team visit later in the year.
About 600 Rotarians and guests attended the Foundation Seminar on the 25th November, 2016 at the Hotel NH Euro, Madrid, as part of Rotary Institute. PDG Dr. Himansu Basu was invited to speak on our District’s award winning Calmed (Collaborative Action in Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths) maternal and child mortality reduction programme in India. The presentation was well received, especially for its comprehensive nature, global partnership and incorporating VTT “training the trainer” model. Dr. Basu was also given a booth space for explaining the programme and distributing leaflets. He is following up enquiries from European Rotarians for further collaboration and assistance with the programme. These included Chairman of the Healthy Pregnancy Healthy Children Rotarian Action Group Dr. Jan Lucas Ket from the Netherlands.
RI Convention in Seoul was a grand affair, with over 40 thousand registrants from 120 countries, but the spread-out city of 10 million people meant long journeys to Conference morning and evening.
There was a galaxy of eminent speakers including RI President Ravi , Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. And United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
I acted as moderator for two breakout sessions – on how to organise a VTT for maternal and child health, and on sustainability – what does it mean ? Both were well attended (VTT about 100+, Sustainability about 150) and the feed back was good. A number of important contacts have been made –the panellists were exceptionally good,- this made my job easier.
Our panel members and the audience supported two new ideas put forward – these are the concept of VTT plus and Rotary Maternal and Child Health Ambassadors in Districts. They also supported Calmed concept with great enthusiasm.
Vocational Training Team ( VTT) should be graded as:
- VTT 1 –where a team of 3-4 Obstetricians visits an area of need and trains a group of professionals (doctors ,midwives and nurses) in the emergency care of pregnant women and new born babies ,using modern methods of knowledge and skills transfer.
- VTT 2 facilitates training the trainer model – a team of 5-7 Obstetricians train about 20 to 25 master trainers (middle grade obstetricians who pass knowledge and skills tests) who then train a group of basic trainees( doctors, midwives and nurses) . VTT returns twice to refresh training, but local Master trainers continue with ongoing training cascades for all related professionals in the target area.
- VTT 3 (VTT plus) is as above plus additional responsibilities for master trainers undertaking audit in the form of maternal Death Surveillance Response (MDSR) in partnership with Government – analysing all maternal deaths and making recommendations to avoid preventable maternal deaths. The expectation is that the Government in partnership with other stakeholders will take corrective action. Local Rotary (District and Clubs) will have coordinating roles.
Rotary Maternal and Child Health Ambassadors in Districts- some Master trainers will be chosen to take on a role ensuring continuing responsibility and support for Rotary Mother and Child care in all the Districts covering a target area. The Ambassadors will be given resources needed for training and retraining, and be recognised by local Rotary Club and District as alumni. They will be invited to join appropriate Rotary Fellowships and/or Rotarian Action Groups. A telemedicine setup can be used to mentor assist and inform maternal and child health specialists from the cadre of Master Trainers as above. Discussions are in place.
Breakout on Sustainability – this was a good workshop too with a lot of interesting ides on impact measurement, monitoring and evaluation. The audience liked our slogan – sustainability is everyone’s business. Role of partnership with stakeholders including the Government ( National Health Mission – NHM) and NGOs was highlighted. Many examples were given. Calmed was acknowledged as a good model for sustainability and even enhanced impact in future years..
House of Friendship
I had responsibilities of the Calmed Booth and commitments for the Rotarian Doctors (IFRD) Booth and Rotarian Action Group on Population Development (RFPD) Booth. It was a pleasure meeting and
Interacting with many Rotarians interested in the Calmed programme. I established some important contacts for progression of the Calmed programme. Many Rotarians expressed interest in supporting the “Calmed Revolution”
I had the good fortune to have discussions with many Rotarians, including senior leaders (PRIP Raja Saboo, PRIP Jonathan Magjiabe , TRF Trustee Sushil Gupta, PRID Mark Maloney), Rotarians from our partner Districts 3240 (including Prakash Gupta, Andrew Lal) and 3051 and many others ,
I even got a slot ( all 30 seconds of it!) in the Rotary International Official Convention video. Please see the link: http://video.rotary.org/yGfU/#.V1Km9JQObP0.gmail
I have registered for the Atlanta Convention in 2017 – see you there!
PDG Dr. Himansu Basu firstname.lastname@example.org www.calmedrotary.org
Come and see us at the Rotary International Convention at Seoul on 28 May – 1 June 2016. Find PDG Dr Himansu Basu at the Calmed Booth (No 2609), or hear him at our Calmed workshop: 31 May: ‘Interactive Workshop on CalmedVTT’ at Kintex 2 Room 308 or 1st June: Panel on Sustainability’. at Kintex 2 Hall 6c – 2,
Booth 76: The place to drop in! Please join us to: Experience how to set up Vocational Training Teams (VTT), Exchange ideas on Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Examine evidence so fat that Calmed really works! Hear about our successful VTT visits to Sikkim and Bhuj (India), and our forthcoming 3rd VTT to Madhya Pradesh in October 2016.
PDG Dr. Himansu Basu – Rotarian, retired Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Programme Director of the Rotary / Calmed project – received a Rotary (Great Britain and Ireland) ‘Champion of Change’ award at a ceremony held in the House of Lords on the 20th April, 2016.
Dr. Basu’s work in India in saving mothers and babies dying at childbirth was introduced by Rotary GBI President Peter Davey. The award was presented by Rob Wilson, MP, Minister for Civil Society, in presence of Gravesham MP Adam Holloway and Rotary South East District Governor Ray Dixon.
Dr. Basu said – “I receive this award on behalf of many who gave their time and expertise in stopping mothers dying unnecessarily in childbirth in low resource countries”.
The Calmed (Collaborative Action in Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths) programme – an innovative state of the art Rotary programme – has been introduced in two states in India (Sikkim and Gujarat), funded by the Rotary Foundation, with substantial expansion in trained workforce in the care of pregnant women and progressive reduction of maternal and child deaths.
Pp Terry Kinsman, Rotary / Calmed VTT
The District 1120 VTT ‘Calmed’ has just been recognised by the award of the Times Sternberg Active Life Award for 2015 to its leader and founder, PDG Dr Himansu Basu.
The award recognises the achievements of outstanding individuals who have changed the life of those around them by their selfless work for humanitarian causes.
In this case, Himansu had developed the innovative programme, initiated partnership with a number of organisations and led two continuing VTT medical missions to deprived parts of India where maternal death rates were very high. They worked through a training the trainer cascade to increase the workforce of professionals experienced in the emergency care of pregnant women. They have achieved their goal of substantial reduction of maternal mortality.
But before my pen was dry with this information, we have received further news of the award of another honour to this tireless group – Himansu has been awarded recognition from Rotary International in GBI in the form of the award to him of the ‘Champions of Change Award for 2015-16’, for “outstanding volunteer work”.
Himansu and the VTT members are not resting on their laurels – they are pressing on with this important work with a third VTT trip, this time to Madhya Pradesh in Central India – another maternal death hotspot. The new team of 6 or seven Obstetricians / Gynaecologists will be travelling to the state of Madhya Pradesh in September 2016 to impart their knowledge to the local medical community, again to cascade its effects right down to make a difference at village level.
Terry Kinsman, VTT (Madhya Pradesh) Blog Correspondent
2 March Contd: Day 3 of our Return visit to Bhuj. Our Training Course at Bhuj continued with lectures, break out groups and hands on skills practice – the last was the most popular amongst the trainees.
Even Master trainers from the Government Skills Lab commented on the superior value of Calmed training. They commented on the confidence generated by our practical training in managing difficult and complicated emergency situations in low resource settings.
Staff members from our hosts, GAIMS (Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences) were very helpful, making life easier for us all. Catering was provided by the Adani Foundation.
2 newspaper articles were published ( in Gujarati) praising the programme.
Though not able to meet local Government officials, we had 2 teleconferences and many telephone calls. Also a video conference with Dr. Priti Adani, (President, Adani Foundation) about the possibility of a Calmed programme in Chattisgarh, another needy area in Eastern India with high maternal and child mortality.
3rd March: Our Training Day for ASHAs (community social workers ). 32 ASHAs from all 5 Districts attended for a day filled with lectures, videos, discussions and feed back, conducted by 3 local Master trainers and our 3 VTT members (Rtn. Dr Upendra Vasavada, Dr. Ishita Mishra and I).
4th March: At the conclusion we handed over our equipment to the 5 districts through their respective Master Trainers, District Medical Officers (representing the Government ) and Rotary Clubs. This partnership will ensure sustainability. Now on to the 2nd part of our visit.
7th March – Sikkim: Having crossed India, we arrived at our 2nd destination, Sikkim, in the Himalayan foothills. Based at its capital, Gangtok, we had a new VTT team of Dr Upendra again, Dr Dwivedi (from UK) and myself. After equipment were sorted out, assembled and checked by us and local Master Trainers, there was an opening ceremony in late afternoon, with the Vice Chancellor of the Sikkim Manipal Institute as our chief guest, where I made a presentation on Calmed. In the evening, we were entertained by Rotarians and Inner Wheel members from both Rotary Clubs – they are very lively. I also inducted a new member to Gangtok Rotary Club.
Training continues until the 10th March, with the same successful format as in Bhuj – high standards of training are maintained and arrangements and facilities are excellent.
I am keen to look to the future, now that the Global Grant is coming to an end in District 3240. I have been speaking with the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of GAIMS on establishing a Maternal and Child Health Academy on site. Collaboration with distinguished National and International centres of excellence will be involved.
There is an ongoing programme and dialogue with them.
As always, Rotary and Inner wheel are very supportive. Hospitality from Rotarians is superb. We have met many old friends and made new ones.
Calmed was born in Sikkim three years ago – now we are assured of a healthy life……..
Rtn Dr Himansu Basu
Tuesday 1st March – it was a bright sunny day, started with lectures on Infection control, obstetric emergencies and raised blood pressure. These were followed by discussions, demonstration of videos and break out sessions with hands on training on skills equipment. Throughout the day the training was undertaken by the group of 11 master trainers. Our team of VTT (Rotarian Upendra ,Dr Ishita and myself) ,played only supportive roles to the master trainers.
The multitasking VTT also improved the programme to suit the local training requirements and took photographs when needed. I managed to squeeze in number of meetings including telephone calls and video conferences with local staff members and the government in Ahmedabad, 250 miles away. I also had the pleasure to participate in video conference with Dr Mrs Priti Adani along with her team, ably supported by D G.Rao, medical director of Adani hospital in Bhuj. They are very interested in extending the Calmed programme in another part of India (Chattisgarh state)
Wednesday 2nd March – the day started with post course knowledge and skill assessment of trainees, followed by lectures by VTT members (the new topics of maternal death surveillance by Dr Ishita Mishra and new topics of WHO check list by Dr Vasavada). Remainder of the day was taken up by feedback, question answer sessions by master trainers and trainees. The day was rounded up with the closing ceremony in which speakers included myself, Dr Rao on behalf of Adani hospital and Dr Dipesh Dabhi, on behalf of Government, who expressed considerable satisfaction and praised the Calmed programme. Eleven master trainers, 28 trainees and 10 nursing students were awarded appropriate certificates.
I conveyed good wishes from our District Governer Ray Dixon and Rotarians from District 1120. I expressed thanks to large number of people for their support in successful running of the programmes. These included Medical Director Dr Rao, VTT members Dr Vasavada and Dr Mishra, Mr Ganesh Khandekar and Mr Kishore from Adani foundation, PDG Mohan Shah, PDG Bharat Dholakia and PDG Harshad Udeshi. Particular help throughout was given by Dr N.B. Dholakia from Government of Gujarat.
Thursday 3rd March – Today belonged to 25 ASHAS(Accredited Social Health Activists) who are government employees and who are involved in supporting pregnant women throughout pregnancy, labour and afterwards. Training was given by the VTT members, 2 Master trainers who volunteered (Dr Samira, Dr Solanki) and the Principal of the Nursing school Mr Gohil. The ASHAS in particular were very enthusiastic and appreciative of the training programme. They emphasised the helpful programme and resources available (video films, Simulators and pictorial Flip Charts in Gujarati given to them). The day was rounded up with award of certificates to the ASHAS which they accepted with pride and joy.
In the evening we were entertained by Rotary clubs in Bhuj at a joint meeting of Rotary clubs. Dr Upendra Vasavada made a presentation on Calmed programme which received unanimous support and acclaim as a top end VTT. Afterwards we were invited to dinner at a local restaurant.
As we came to the end of our visit to Bhuj, I felt that this was the most successful return trip for the Calmed programme. The success was contributed to by all concerned, including the Adani Foundation who provided excellent accommodation and refreshments including breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the trainees and trainers. Mentoring groups were established easily. I have no doubt that Rotary could learn a thing or two from the examples set by our master trainers, trainees, ASHAS and supporters, all triggered by the VTT visit. We look forward to our return trip to Bhuj in a years’ time. Now I am getting ready to go the other end of India in the foothills of the Himalayas – Sikkim!
Himansu Basu, Bhuj, 5th March 2016