The Global network project, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) of USA- forged a collaborative partnership between renowned physicians and public health researchers from various academic institutions and universities of the United States of America and their eminent counterparts in India, during the early years of the first decade of this new millennium. During this collaborative research exercise, many astute minds felt the need for a public health institute in this region of the country for addressing the demand for and the gap in the supply of appropriately trained public health professionals. These trained personnel were and still are required in substantial numbers for delivering various public health programmes and services by the governmental agencies, its developmental partners and civil society organizations in the state as well in the entire region, which suffer from relatively unfavourable socio-economic and demographic circumstances leading to a greater burden of public health problems in this part of the country. Unfortunately the numbers of public health institutes needed to educate professionals who can then work in this field are very much limited throughout the country, especially in this region. Thus the idea of Asian Institute of Public Health (AIPH) was born and it came up in Bhubaneswar in 2008, the capital city of Odisha, primarily to cater to this supply gap of skilled public health personnel in the state and the region, and also gradually expand its contribution to a larger audience in the rest of country as well as in the neighboring countries of South Asia, many of which share public health problems of similar nature and magnitude.
The first batch of students of Master of Public Health (MPH) programme, the flagship educational programme of AIPH, graduated in 2012. Hitherto, four batches of MPH graduates emerged from AIPH with twenty one more students waiting in the wings to graduate. All the graduates are gainfully employed currently in various domains of public health and are working with the following categories of agencies: National Health Mission, United Nations organizations, international and national NGOs and research institutes. Some are pursuing doctoral studies in public health from overseas renowned universities. (Please visit the alumni page).
AIPH, other than its outstanding educational programmes, remaining true to its origin as a global collaborative research initiative, has been carrying out since its inception, and still continues with cutting-edge research activities in various domains of public health to generate robust scientific evidence, which helps to reshape public policy and benefits a large section of the population. The research activities involve both community as well as laboratory components, for which the institute has developed state-of-the-art laboratories and has fostered a team of highly-skilled field research associates, who not only collect data from two adopted peri-urban and tribal regions in two diverse areas of Odisha, but also from other areas where its field research activities take them. AIPH also continues to implement few public health projects in close collaboration with the public health system and its international developmental partners to provide invaluable insight into the new innovative methods and technologies, tried out in those projects, which can then be used for scaling-up such novel methods to a larger population. To name a few of the partners with which AIPH is intimately engaged in research and project activities: UNICEF, UNOPS, World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Health Mission of Odisha, UKAID-funded Technical Management and Support Team of Odisha, the SHARE consortium-UK, ICMR, DBT, University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Duke University, Emory University, University of Oklahoma, University of California at Davis and London School of Hygiene and Public Health.