Voluntary Health Association of Goa (VHAG) is a non-profit non-government organization committed to the improvement of people’s health in the state of Goa by conducting research to identify problem areas in health, implementing field interventions, advocacy, policy formulation and recommendations to the government and monitoring the implementation of laws related to public health through active involvement and co-ordination with the public, other NGOs and government. VHAG is an important state unit of the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).
VHAG was initially established in November 2001 as the Goa Health Collective (GHC). The GHC owes its birth to a project of Sangath, a Goan NGO that has been engaged in clinical services and research on child and family mental health issues in Goa. The project was launched in January 1999 following a request by the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) to document the public health scenario of Goa. In keeping with the earlier VHAI publications, “The State of India’s Health”, the new project was titled “The State of Goa’s Health” . The project was coordinated by Dr.Vikram Patel and Ms. Rinea Dourado.
With the release of the State of Goa’s Health Report, the Sangath project was completed. At a meeting to discuss future steps, one of the key recommendations was the need for a public health advocacy and monitoring group in Goa. In keeping with this recommendation, it was unanimously agreed to set up a new NGO, which could implement the recommendations of the Report. Thus, the Goa Health Collective was born with an Executive Board of seven persons who reflected the inter-sectoral and multi-disciplinary nature of public health, with the objective of advocating for public health issues affecting the people of Goa. Acknowledging the exemplary work done by the GHC, the Voluntary Health Association of India, within a span of just 2 years accorded state membership status to GHC and hence was then termed as the Voluntary Health Association of Goa (VHAG) in November 2003. This was a significant achievement for a young organization.
The Voluntary Health Association of Goa (VHAG) is located at St. Inez, Panjim. Our project office is located at Ambaulim, Quepem.
It is said that “When a collection of brilliant minds, hearts and talents come together expect a masterpiece”. It is this collection of vastly experienced board members that have come together to make “health a reality” to the people of Goa. We have representatives from the fields of medicine, pharmacy, social Field, the civil society and so on; whose expertise is what gives the organisation its unique identity.
There’s is no substitute for hard work. It is this hard work and motivation invested by our staff members that helps us take our projects forward through coordination, planned action, goals and targets. Also their enthusiasm to learn new things has rewarded the organisation in its own way.
“The State of Goa’s Health”, project was coordinated by Dr.Vikram Patel and Ms. Rinea Dourado.
The objective of the State of Goa’s Health project was to prepare a report on public health issues in Goa and to host a meeting of stakeholders in healthcare in Goa to consider the implications of the report and to facilitate the formation of a local public health action group. A range of topics pertaining to the wider public health issues in Goa were identified, ranging from HIV/AIDS and malaria to women and child health, from public and private health financing to medical ethics and training. Experts in Goa were invited to contribute on various topics and these contributions formed the draft of State of Goa’s Health report. The report was released in February 2000 at a conference which involved participation by a cross-section of stakeholders of health in Goa.
The final State of Goa’s Health Report was based on the draft document released at the meeting, and the discussions arising from the meeting. The report published by VHAI in 2000, is the first comprehensive documentation of public health in Goa. The final State of Goa’s Health Report was based on the draft document released at the meeting, and the discussions arising from the meeting. The report published by VHAI in 2000, is the first comprehensive documentation of public health in Goa.