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Cadila Pharma launches project SAAHAS

Drug major Cadila Pharmaceuticals has launched the CSR Project SAAHAS (Strengthening Access & Awareness to Health in Hansot) in an effort to design and implement a holistic public healthcare model in Hansot taluka of Bharuch in the State of Gujarat.

An oxygen plant was inaugurated by MLA Ishwar Sinh Patel at Kaka-Ba hospital, the charitable hospital run by Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited’s CSR arm Kaka-Ba and Kala-Budh Public Charitable Trust in Hansot. The oxygen plant, having a 25 Normal Cubic Meter (NM3) capacity, was inaugurated at 9 am on Thursday. The plant has been set up at a cost of Rs. 70 lakhs. The plant is adequate to meet the oxygen requirement of around 40-50 patients round-the-clock.

“The oxygen plant will ensure an uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen to Kaka-Ba Hospital. We have set up the plant keeping in mind the current oxygen requirement, as well as any potential rise in demand during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Bharat Champaneria, Trustee of Indrashil Kaka-Ba & Kala-Budh Public Charitable Trust, and Chief Coordinator of Kaka-Ba Hospital. Global Health Strategies institute (GHSi) has been roped in for the project, which is aimed to be a sustainable and replicable healthcare model.

Project SAAHAS also aims to scale up non-communicable diseases-related programmes by piloting a sustainable telehealth and telemedicine service model and build partnerships for the scalability of the intervention.

“Project SAAHAS aims to leverage existing government schemes and programmes to ensure regular last-mile delivery of health and nutrition services. It will identify the gaps and challenges in existing systems and recommend measures to address them,” said Dr. Champaneria.

This CSR project is designed to be completed over three phases, which includes Situational Assessment, Implementation, and Communications, scale-up, and community participation.

A Situational Assessment was carried out between April and August 2021 to identify the gaps in health and nutrition service delivery, gauging the status of service delivery post-Covid-19 and related intervention areas. The assessment revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures severely impacted routine health programmes such as health screening under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme, putting the health of children at risk. GHSi, which also conducted interviews and group discussions with district and block level health and education department representatives to understand the on-ground reality, found the pandemic has contributed to deepening nutrition inequities and other health vulnerabilities.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us why it is more critical than ever that we work towards strengthening and improving access to key health and nutrition services for children, adolescents, and women. GHSi’s primary focus will be on reactivating health screenings for school children and strengthening referral follow-ups under the school health programme. We will leverage the infrastructure at Kaka-Ba Hospital, which can serve as a hub for coordination between schools and health officials for various interventions,” said Anjali Nayyar, Executive Vice President, Global Health Strategies.

Over the course of this project, GHSi and Kaka-Ba Hospital aim to strengthen comprehensive services, especially those linked with the health and nutrition of children. They will also sensitise and engage locals on the available resources and giving them the tools to access care. “Kaka-Ba Hospital has been providing high-quality healthcare services to people of Hansot for many years. Project SAAHAS will go a long way in ensuring access to healthcare and nutrition among the beneficiaries, and improving the general health and wellness levels in the local community,” said former state minister and Ankleshwar MLA Ishwarsinh Patel.

GHSi’s primary recommendations following the Situational Assessment include facilitating the formation of a block-level sub-committee for inter-sectoral convergence to address gaps and challenges. It has recommended activating and strengthening the Peer Educators Programme (PEP) for outreach to at-risk teenagers, especially for substance abuse. To strengthen nutrition interventions, it has called for addressing misconceptions and raising awareness around critical issues, such as the timely treatment of malnourished children. The CSR Journal

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