Pfizer India and Arpana Research and Charities Trust announced today the expansion of their existing grassroots initiatives aimed at strengthening the healthcare system to cover 100 low-income villages in Haryana by 2012. They also announced the launch of a joint project with USAID and CAP Foundation aimed at employment generation for rural youth.
“This launch builds on our eight-year-long partnership with Pfizer where we have been supporting needy communities through healthcare provision including maternal and child health, social empowerment and income-generation programming, said Harishwar Dayal Executive Director, Arpana. “Thanks to Pfizer, as well as a number of other excellent donors, we have been able to improve key indicators of maternal and child health, increase institutional deliveries, and empower women through the establishment of self-help groups which have a collective savings of about Rs. 3 crore today. We will continue this holistic approach and expand our reach to 100 villages within Haryana to enable these communities to thrive and ultimately break the cycle of poverty, disease, and dependence.”
In addition to these village programs, Arpana and Pfizer have forged a new partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the CAP Foundation. “This is a very unique program to mobilize low-income and marginalized youth. This year USAID will be providing 300 youth with basic employability training in such areas as spoken English, basic computer, and customer relations skills through the CAP Foundation. A subset will receive specialized health care training over three months provided by Arpana Hospital”, said Mrs. Erin Soto, Mission Director, USAID. “Youth form a large part of the population here in Haryana, and we know that healthcare skills are in demand within this rural labor market. Furthermore, the development of skilled healthcare workers who can serve as bedside attendants in hospitals or nursing homes and as community health workers helps to address some of the very immediate healthcare capacity needs. This collaboration demonstrates the power of partnerships and collective effort”.
Speaking on both the Pfizer-Arpana project and the joint initiative with USAID and the CAP Foundation, Gerry Bacarro, Pfizer’s Regional President for South Asia said, “Pfizer believes in and is committed to helping build strong healthcare systems that work for patients and governments alike. We believe in investing in partnerships that provide human, technical and financial resources to engage and empower the community. The Pfizer Arpana partnership is being scaled up and the new initiative with USAID and the CAP Foundation is being undertaken because we have evidence that these models not only improve healthcare, but they provide livelihoods, build skills, and generate employment. The outcome is a holistic solution that is undertaken with the community, for the community and ultimately addresses the community needs.”
Pfizer evolved its work with Arpana from its initial grassroots support to the institutional level by building technical capacity within the Arpana Hospital and across Arpana’s overall operations. The intent is to ensure that the model is self sustainable. This will be accomplished through generating revenue from private hospital patients and through services provided in the new private outpatient clinic at the Arpana Hospital. These funds will be used to provide subsidized care to low income populations.
“This is a key example of public private partnerships which can be replicated and help India achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals. In a short span of seven years, infant and maternal mortality has declined, along with the incidence of malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Poverty and hunger has been reduced by empowering rural women with livelihoods and savings”, said Kewal Handa, Managing Director, Pfizer India.
Since 2002, the project has shown tremendous results by improving the quality of life of women, children and families living in the first 40 villages. These include:
A 32% decrease of anemia in pregnant women, and a 51% decrease of anemia in adolescent girls;
The creation of 1,046 home kitchen gardens that have helped to reduce levels of malnutrition and increase food security at the household level;
A reduction in infant and maternal mortality, with fewer low-birth-weight infants and a lower prevalence of neural-tube defects: a 20% reduction in low-birth-weight babies and a 20% jump in institutional deliveries;
Better all-round healthcare and awareness of the health needs of pregnant women and children less than five years old with 94% coverage of antenatal checkups;
The project serves as a model for how a private sector partnership can build local health infrastructure and capacity in order to provide high quality healthcare along with social and economic empowerment to low income populations within a rural setting. Pfizer’s investments over the years have built sufficient capacity and expertise for Arpana to offer effective training and capacity building for healthcare service delivery. The goal is to collaborate with state governments, NGOs and international agencies for building health systems and strengthening service delivery to poor and marginalized communities across India.
Dr S M Jharwal, Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, inaugurated the function and the launch of these new initiatives was announced by Mr. V. Venkatachalam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health, GoI at the Arpana Hospital, Madhuban, Karnal. Also present on the occasion was a senior delegation from USAID, Clinton Foundation and Pfizer.
About the Project Partners:
Pfizer is the largest biopharmaceutical research corporation in the world, organized under the laws of the United States, and its Indian affiliate Pfizer Limited is organized under the laws of India. Pfizer has initiated several training and capacity building projects to strengthen India’s healthcare infrastructure. Recent examples include partnering with social marketing organizations to expand access to injectable contraceptives through the private sector by providing training; supporting supply and distribution networks. Pfizer has been involved in similar alliances with USAID in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and El Salvador. The company was awarded the FICCI SEDF (Socio Economic Development Foundation) Certificate of Commendation for its social responsibility efforts. Pfizer has won several awards including that for the multinational pharmaceutical company of the year and the most respected MNC.
Arpana Research and Charities Trust
Arpana is a charitable organization dedicated to improving healthcare, education and livelihoods for more than 500,000 people in 250 villages and slums in North India. Arpana works with local communities in Haryana, Himachal and Delhi and also manages a 135-bed multi-specialty hospital that provides quality health care to the rural population in Karnal. Arpana has helped to reduce infant and maternal mortality in over 50 villages through health outreach activities that have increased institutional deliveries, nutrition levels and health and hygiene. The charity has also mobilized large savings among rural households through self help groups, insurance and small scale enterprises. Arpana has received recognition from State and Central Governments and numerous awards including the prestigious Sasakawa Health Prize from World Health Organization.
USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. USAID supports international development and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, democracy and conflict mitigation and management; and humanitarian assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Near East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Eurasia. The U.S. foreign assistance program in India represents a strategic, reciprocal partnership between the U.S. and India to improve the lives of over 828 million poor and vulnerable Indians. USAID/India focuses on health programs, including family planning, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, polio, tuberculosis, and health systems strengthening, as well as education, energy, agriculture, women’s empowerment, and disaster management.
CAP Foundation provides quality learning and sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable and at-risk communities of young people. The pioneering employability model developed by CAP Foundation with support from USAID and other supporters as the Ek Mouka Workforce Development Initiative provides education in basic life and employability skills to deprived out-of-school youth, effectively linking their education to the skills demanded by the new economy. The program provides training to these youth in market-oriented skills such as computer usage, spoken English, communication and customer relations to make them more “employable.” The entire process, from mobilization to final job placement, is designed in close collaboration with the private sector and has been standardized, documented and internationally certified (ISO 9001:2008). Over 70,000 youth have been trained and of them 76% have received job placements post training. CAP has collaborated with a variety of other private and public sector entities to deliver training to at-risk youth. Its programs are across India, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Sudan.