The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations.
For a year now, the world has been struggling to overcome the crisis caused because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The relevance of the day and the need for taking proactive measures to maintain health, improve healthcare systems and infrastructures has never been more evident than now. To highlight this, the World Health Organization has declared the theme of the World Health Day 2021 as: ‘Building a fairer, healthier world.’
On the occasion of World Health Day 2021, Dr Sudhir P. Srivastav MD, and Founder of SS Innovations said, “Many countries around the world have multiple tier healthcare systems where geographical access and cost determine the level of care they receive. The highest level of healthcare ought to be a right and not a privilege for the chosen based on economic considerations. In most developing economies, the majority population stays in rural areas or smaller towns with limited access to timely diagnosis and treatment. A cost-effective technology, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning can help improve true telediagnosis, tele-treatment, and telesurgery utilizing teleoperated robotic systems. The Governments can take initiatives to promote the manufacturing of various currently imported technology components for medical devices to make them more affordable. In India, a Government Scheme like “Ayushman Bharat” that covers healthcare insurance for over 500 Million in the country, should be covering procedures that use high-tech equipment including Robotics. This would further enhance indigenous production of such complex systems to benefit the most. As a Robotic Cardiac Surgeon, I have seen huge benefits among heart surgery patients that do not have their sternums split and recover very fast with less trauma and complications. I am committed to change the direction of surgery for most with a cost-effective surgical robotic system, starting with India but to take it globally to benefit a larger segment of the under-served patient population.”
On this World Health Day, let us look at the top CSR initiatives for health in India.
MANSI initiative by Tata Steel Limited
Lack of easy access to institutional care and low level of awareness about proper care for mothers and babies lead to high mortality among and infants in remote rural areas. With an aim to address the same, Tata Steel Limited launched its initiative ‘MANSI’ (Maternal & Newborn Survival Initiative) which reduces mortality among neonates and infants by enhancing the capacity of Government health volunteers (ASHAs/Sahiyas) in the Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) system.
Tata Steel, the National Health Mission (NHM), American India Foundation (AIF) and the Society for Education Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) – the pioneer of HBNC in India – have collaborated for the implementation of this project in public-private partnership. The project is being implemented in 12 blocks across Jharkhand and Odisha. The project has been successful in reducing the Neonatal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate by 61 per cent and 63 per cent since the inception of the project.
Healthcare Initiatives by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited
Project Dil Without Bill: Project Dil without Bill is aimed at supporting heart surgeries, free of cost, for people with heart ailments from low-income group, particularly children. Under the project, the organisation organised health camps to raise awareness and identify patients with heart ailments. This project has given life and hopes to thousands of families over the years. Through this project, 600 successful heart surgeries were carried out in Financial Year 2019-20, bringing smiles to families of beneficiaries.
Project Dhanwantri: Project Dhanwantari is focused on providing basic healthcare facilities and services in remote rural areas and urban communities through 25 Mobile Medical Vans. The Mobile Medical Van facility reached the doorsteps of people in remote rural and urban locations. The majority of beneficiaries were women, children and the elderly whose general health is neglected due to poverty and lack of resources and awareness.
Project Suraksha: Project Suraksha is focused on the prevention of HIV/AIDS among truckers and surrounding communities by educating them about safe-sexual behaviour practices and providing diagnosis and treatment of STIs through seven ‘Khushi’ clinics on highways.
Project ROSHNI by Roche Diagnostics India Private Limited
Project ROSHNI was initiated in January 2015 by Roche Diagnostics India. The project provides healthcare and nutrition to severely anaemic women in the tribal villages of Palghar, the average haemoglobin levels of whom were less than 8 gms/dL. Under the project, the organisation organised regular health camps, medication, puppet shows and cooking competitions to improve the health of the women. The project turned out to be a success as it saw the haemoglobin levels of women rise by 2 gm/dL in five months. Additionally, in order to help them stay independent, the company helped in the formation of over 43 self-help groups of 15 women each and provided them with vocational training in tailoring and beautician programmes. It also empowered them by helping them acquire Aadhar cards, PAN cards, bank accounts and financial literacy. It provided drumstick saplings and kitchen garden training to 500 tribal women, established rainwater harvesting in 100 village homes and installed borewells. The project touched the lives of over 3,000 tribals.
HPE’s Initiative to Promote IoT based Healthcare in India
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Information Technology Development Agency (ITDA) – a society registered by the Government of Uttarakhand, to set up an Internet of Things (IoT) Center of Excellence (CoE) in Dehradun. The CoE is designed to provide a platform to train underprivileged students with technical backgrounds to develop computer applications in the field of healthcare to improve access of healthcare programs to the people.
The fully-equipped CoE will be a green facility. HPE will provide the standard medical, IT and networking equipment, access to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) 2.0, and data hosting. Additionally, HPE will provide students the training on HPE hardware, operating systems, EMR and medical equipment. The IoT CoE will be run and managed by ITDA.
National Cancer Institute by ONGC
At Nagpur, ONGC has supported for setting up of National Cancer Institute, a 455 bedded quaternary care oncology centre. The institute will provide a world-class oncology treatment facility at affordable rates to the general public of Central India. The state of the art radio diagnostic equipment and construction of the first floor and ground floor of the institute has been funded by ONGC. More than 10,000 people have benefited through this project up to April 2019.
The centre provides comprehensive cancer treatment, patient care and research through sustainable charity. In addition to providing general cancer care, the institute also creates speciality groups of highly skilled professionals who are masters in the treatment of a select group of cancers. The institute also plans to start University recognized training courses for nurses, paramedical staff and medical fraternity including super speciality training in Oncology and PhD programs.