July 2011

Revolutionising Pedagogy@ a Distance

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IGNOU, School of Health Sciences, educates students at the grass root level and provide in-service training for medical, nursing and paramedical courses through a multimedia approach

By Dr Biplab Jamatia

IGNOU has been constantly contributing significantly towards the education with the objective of augmenting educational avenues and for providing in-service training for medical, nursing, paramedical and allied personnel through the distance education mode. Today, it serves the educational aspirations of over 3.0 million students in India and 36 other countries through 21 schools of Studies and a network of 61 Regional Centers around 60 overseas centers. The School is a pioneer in developing competency-based programmes in various disciplines of Health Sciences.  Innovative approaches in medical programmes include hands-on training, which is provided through diversified approaches of a network of colleges and districts-level hospitals.

To achieve this, the School has been collaborating, and exchanging ideas, with various national and international organisations like World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Voluntary Organisations like ‘ACTS Ministries’, GOI, National Board of Examination (NBE), Association of Rural Surgeons of India (ARSI), Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Nursing Institutes in Seychelles and Narayana Hrudayalaya and many other.

IGNOU has adopted a multimedia approach to enable students who seek such courses irrespective of age, region or formal qualifications. The objective of IGNOU is to democratize higher education by taking to the doorsteps of the learners and provide access to high quality education to all through a team of teachers called as Academic Counselors.

The School of Health Sciences was set up in the year 1991. The various functions of the school are planning, developing and launching of Degree, Diploma and Certificate Level Programme for various categories of health professional: health awareness courses for the general public and conducting research on health issues. The school adopts a diversified approach to educate students through a three-tier system i.e. medical colleges [ Programme Study Centres(PSCs)], District hospitals[ Skill Development Centres(SDCs)] and the work places of enrolled doctors, provide hands in training.

There are various programmes initiated by School of Health Sciences to develop and build an infrastructure to revolutionize career opportunities through distance learning

Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal and Child Health (PGDMCH)

Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal a Child Health (PGDMCH) Programme is a one-year programme of 36 credits (18 credits in theory and 18 credits in practical). This programme was launched in 1997 and has undergone two revision’s. The 2nd revised programme is being implemented since January 2008. The number of PSCs established till date are 32.

This Programme is a comprehensive package of Community Medicine/PSM, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics so as to give an integrated knowledge on the MCH care. The Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Programme, the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) , Adolescent-Friendly Reproductive & Sexual Health (AFRSH) Service, and other approaches of Government of India to improve the various morbidity and mortality indicators related to MCH care forms the part of this package. The programme aims at updating the knowledge and skills of practicing doctors and those placed in a peripheral set up like Primary Health Centre/Community Health Centre. The package would also be beneficial for doctors at all levels engaged in the MCH care in different capacities.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • imbibe comprehensive knowledge of ongoing Maternal and Child Health Programmes and be able to manage Health Care Services at different institutional levels;
  • tackle the disease outbreaks and effectively manage the National Health Programmes especially in relation to MCH services;
  • provide antenatal care including those of high risk pregnancy, conduct normal delivery, handle common emergency care related to pregnancy and its outcome and identify referral situations;
  • manage common gynaecological morbidity and provide family planning services;
  • provide newborn care, identify high risk babies, diagnose and manage common childhood
  • morbidity including emergencies; and
  • acquire knowledge on nutritional needs, assess growth and development of children and manage their respective problems.

Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Health Management (PGDHHM)

Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Health Management (PGDHHM) Programme comprises 32 credits (18 credits in theory and 14 credits in practical) including project work. This programme aims at improving the managerial skills of practicing Doctors, Health Professionals and Allied Health Care Professionals working in health care professions for providing effective and efficient hospital and health care services. This programme was launched in January 2001. The number of Programme Study Centres activated at present are 23.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • acquire theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills to apply scientific approach to  management of people, materials, finance, communication and for organizing work and  managing resources;
  • learn modern management techniques like inventory control; economic order quantity (EOQ),   operational research and organizational development, management information system etc.
  • learn methods of problem solving and decision making and plan in advance to face the problems of hospital management; and assess the clinical and non-clinical needs of patient care, and understand the administrative and
  • technical requirements of physicians and paramedical personnel.

ELIGIBILITY

The eligibility for the different categories of the target group is:

  • Medical/Dental graduates from a Medical/Dental institute of India or other countries recognised
  • By Medical Council of India (MCI) or Dental Council of India (DCI).
  • Graduates in Indian System of Medicine, Homeopathy, Nursing and Pharmacy recognised by the Respective Councils with three years of hospital experience.
  • Candidates holding MBA degree or PG Diploma in Financial, Material or Personnel Management
  • With five years of hospital experience.

Post Graduate Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (PGDGM)

Post Graduate Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (PGDGM) Programme is a one-year Diploma Programme of 32 credits (14 credits in theory and 18 credits in practical). This programme was launched in January, 2004. The number of Programme Study Centres activated at present are 17. This programme will equip the practicing doctors with knowledge and skills in the field of Geriatric
Medicine and enable them to deal with the special problems faced by the elderly.

With increased expectancy of life over the years, the proportion of elderly population is fast increasing. Aging is inevitable and irreversible. The epidemiology and the clinical features of diseases vary in this age group and drug dosages and interactions also differ. Geriatric management requires not only medical interventions but also special economic and environmental interventions. This programme aims at not only enhancing the knowledge but also multiskilling the doctors so as that they can provide primary level care to the elderly.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • upgrade the knowledge and skills for providing comprehensive health care to elderly;
  • inculcate the inter-disciplinary approach for diagnosing and management of geriatric health problems; and
  • improve the clinical, social and communication skills by providing hands on training in Medical colleges and district hospitals.

Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Cardiology (PGDCC)

India, with over a billion population requires a few thousand cardiologists to be trained. Contrary to this, today we produce only around hundred cardiologists with DM/DNB qualifications. Unless we address this issue of training a large number of cardiologists, especially for treating heart patients in an average district town/semi-urban area, the situation will not change much. To address this issue School of Health Sciences is developing a 2-year programme for MBBS doctors in collaboration with Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore. This is a 72 credits programme comprising of 30 credits in theory and 42 credits in practical. In this programme the young medical graduates will be intensively trained for two years through an extremely well structured programme. It will be implemented through leading cardiac institutions in the country. The programme was launched in January, 2006. The number of Programme Study Centres activated at present are 61.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • imbibe comprehensive knowledge of ongoing Common Cardiovascular Diseases and be able to manage Health Care Services at different institutional levels;
  • provide cardiac emergency at various places i.e. smaller town, district town;
  • provide services related to the Electrocardiography, Stress Test, Holter Monitoring, Echocardiography, Cardiac Radiology and related non-invasive services, including diabetes mellitus;
  • provide non-invasive peadiatric cardiology including peadiatric cardiac emergencies;
  • acquire knowledge of the risk factors of the cardiovascular diseases; and
  • provide preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation services to the community.

Certificate in Health Care Waste Management of South-East Asian Countries (CHCWM)

The concern for bio-medical waste management has been felt globally with the rise in deadly infections such as AIDSand Hepatitis B and indiscriminate disposal of health care waste. The main bottleneck to sound health carewastemanagement practices is lack of training and appropriate skills to manage waste by different health carefunctionaries. To cater to the needs of health care functionaries and impart good waste management practices, a six-month, 14credits Certificate Programme in Health Care Waste Management has been developed in collaboration with WHO-SEARO. The programme has been deveoped for the South East Countries Partner Institutions (Programme study centre) have already been established in Bangladesh and Nepal. A few more centres in other South East Asian Countries are in the offing.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • sensitize the learner about health care waste and its impact on our health and environment;
  • acquaint the learner about the existing legislation, knowledge and practices regarding infection
  • control and health care waste management practices in the countries of South- East Asia Region; and
  • equip the learner with skills to manage health care waste effectively and safely.

ELIGIBILITY

Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Health Managers and others with a minimum of 10+ 2 qualification.

B.Sc. (Hons.) in Optometry and Ophthalmic Techniques (BSCHOT)

B.SC.(Hons.) in Optometry and Ophthalmic Techniques (BSCHOT) is a four-year degree programme and is aimed to develop a multipurpose ophthalmic manpower in the country. This programme comprises of 128 credits (52 credits theory and 76 credits practical). This programme was launched in July, 2007. The number of Programme Study Centres activated at present are 19.

OBJECTIVES

The Programme has been launched with broad objective of training the students in optometry various ophthalmic procedures. After going through this programme the students shall be able to:

  • assist eye specialists in big eye hospitals, eye care health units, etc., as refractionists, orthoptists, theatre assistants and refractionists;
  • get themselves self employed as opticians, optometrists and refractionists;
  • estimate errors of refraction and be able to prescribe glasses;
  • maintain ophthalmic appliances and instruments; and
  • assess ocular motility disorders and prescribe adequate treatment including eyeball exercises.

ELIGIBILITY

The candidates should have passed 10+2 examination of CBSE or equivalent with English, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology with at least 45% marks.

Post Graduate Certificate in Endodontics (PGCE) Programme is a one-year Certificate Programme of 30 credits (14 credits theory and 16 credits practical) developed by IGNOU in collaboration with Dental Council of India (DCI). This programme has been launched from July, 2008. Fifteen Programme Study Centres are activated. This programme will equip the practicing doctors with enhanced knowledge and skills in the field of Conservative Dentistry.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • enhance the knowledge and skills in the field of conservative dentistry.
  • be able to assess, diagnose and manage the cases which require specialized interventions in the field of conservative dentistry.

Post Graduate Certificate in Oral Implantology (PGCOI)

Programme of 30credits (14 credits theory and 16 credits practical) developed by IGNOU in collaboration with Dental Council of India (DCI). This programme has been launched from July, 2008. Twelve Programme Study Centres are activated. This programme will equip the practicing doctors with enhanced knowledge and skills in the field of Oral lmplantology.

OBJECTIVES

The broad objectives of this programme are to:

  • enhance the knowledge and skills in the field of oral implantology.
  • be able to assess, diagnose and manage the cases requiring dental implants.

Post Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture (PGDACP)

Acupuncture is a traditional method of therapy which is very well recognized world over and well accepted by the people as it does not have any side effects. This method has been found to be useful in all types of diseases specially the chronic diseases. Moreover the cost of the treatment is less as compared to the other systems of medicine. Post Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture is the first medical programme which is being offered online. The programme is the one year duration and it aims to help graduates of different systems of medicine to learn a new therapy and utilize it for patient benefit in treating acute and chronic diseases.

There are many more initiatives and new courses are to be launched from next session onwards. Students in the peripheral areas look forward for such this flexible mode of education which has further helped them to prepare and appear in exams as per their convenience. Such an approach to educate students through technology and other multimedia modes of teaching has brought people closer.

As a world leader in Distance education, IGNOU has further set an example to be one of the most prestigious institutions to provide medical courses through high end academicians and professors. In January, 2010, it was listed 12th in the webmetric ranking of Indian Universities, based on the caliber of its presence on the internet.

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