Innocent smiles, playful life, joy in the eyes is the address of the young children. One of the ways a nation is said to be developed or under developed is based on its infant mortality rate (IMR). According to UNICEF, IMR in the states of Telangana/Andhra Pradesh is 41 per thousand live births. India accounts for one-fourth of the global infant deaths; and in Hyderabad, two babies die every hour. Could this be because of lack of awareness? People under the poverty line are risking their lives during pregnancy and child birth, which causes irreparable damage for the mother and the child.
Dr. M. Padmanab Reddy, has committed to address such humanitarian emergency through a dedicated organization, NICE Foundation, started in Hyderabad in the year 2002. NICE foundation works towards saving lives by providing quality health care to the most deserving sections of the society. Currently they have focused their efforts on three sections:
- Young ones –the new born and children
- Most deserving – the government children
- Neglected – tribal women and children
NICE (Neonatal Intensive Care and Emergencies) Institute for the newborn focuses on caring for infants in Hyderabad. They are established as a Public-Private partnership model to provide clinical care and help patients, irrespective of their ability to pay. They train doctors & nurses and also get involved in research to improve their knowledge of newborn diseases and develop new cures using research tools and innovative approaches. They have networks with all the maternity hospitals in Hyderabad.
NICE Hospital for Children – Beyond high quality newborn care, NICE has broadened its horizon to include older infants and children by adding the pediatric division that provides the highest quality pediatric and surgical services. They have a multi-disciplinary, full-fledged pediatric team of experienced professionals. Their philosophy is to not only treat the illness, but also the child as a whole.
Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Program: Maternal death is a great cause of concern for developing countries in Africa and South Asia. India accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s maternal deaths, with one woman dying every 5 minutes. NICE Foundation has come up with an innovative low-cost model which provides the best services to the population who have no healthcare systems. Services like effective ante-natal, post natal care, conducting of safe deliveries, basic care to the new borns can be provided at a cost as low as Rs. 3,700 for an entire village per month.
School Health Program was initiated on the basic principle that education does not function in isolation. It was noted that children in government schools have frequent bouts of absenteeism and a generic low energy index. The screening at the health camps involves:
- photograph for identity card
- anthropometric data collection which involves height, weight and mid-arm circumference
- pediatric assessment which includes general examination, system examination and congenital anomalies
- vision screening
- dental examination
With this kind of detailed information about each child, a code number is assigned along with the photograph of the child, thereby creating a foolproof identification system.
NICE Foundation has been a pioneer in creating low-cost, effective, replicable, and innovative models of healthcare delivery, making a huge impact in the lives of the most deserving sections of the society. It has been setting examples by venturing into areas that required the much needed interventions which can be replicated by any state government in collaboration with the corporates in any part of the country.
Sources: Time of India