Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) – the CSR arm of Ambuja Cements Ltd – today elaborated its holistic efforts to significantly expand its Non-Communicable Disease intervention program outreach in the coming years while stressing on stronger stakeholder partnerships to develop a robust health care system. ACF’s ongoing intervention program through its effective partnership models covers nearly one lakh people across 101 villages in four locations in India.
With the aim of creating prosperous rural communities, ACF organized a participatory dialogue – Multi Stakeholder Consultation on Non-Communicable Diseases in New Delhi which saw participation from various industry experts and other stakeholders who were involved either directly or indirectly in the public health space.
On this occasion, Ambuja Cement Foundation Head Pearl Tiwari said, “Changing lifestyles combined with lack of awareness has led to the rising epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases in rural locations across the country. While rural women suffer from malnourishment, youth have been falling prey to substance abuse of tobacco and alcohol – further aggravating their risk of developing NCDs. The situation is critical and demands urgent intervention from various stakeholders to partner and develop a cohesive and sustainable healthcare awareness campaign that addresses the issue at grassroots.”
“NCDs account for nearly 60% of deaths in India at present. Mitigation of NCDs needs constant and concentrated efforts at multiple levels which can be made possible only through synergetic efforts by all stakeholders. ACF shall continue its endeavour to build healthy communities to enable people to lead more fruitful and productive live,” she added.
ACF aims to log at least two-fold expansion of its outreach by focusing more in developing and strengthening community-based organisations and villages committees such as village development committee, village health and nutrition committee which will emphasise on behavioral change for sustainable impact. The teams will also collaborate with government agencies and philanthropic organizations, proactively participate in the National Programme for prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) efforts while developing skills, capacities and capabilities among frontline workers and health professional to create linkages and access of affordable treatment for the needy.
ACF’s NCD Endeavours
In response to the rising epidemic of non-communicable disease, ACF has launched an NCD intervention program to combat these diseases and this year introduced the program in four locations, reaching out to nearly a lakh of people across 12,464 households. Having assessed the need for interventions in this areas, ACF conducted a baseline study at Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Bhatapara (Chhattisgarh), Darlaghat (Himachal Pradesh) and Roorkee (Uttarakhand) and then designed strategies to implement a community-based project on NCD.
The project covers diabetes, cardiac problems, cancer (with more emphasis on oral, breast and cervical cancers), respiratory disease, women‘s health and mental health problems. The objective of the project was to generate awareness in the community about the NCDs, motivate the high-risk population for early identification and treatment.
Sakhis – ACF’s trained women health providers – play a central role in driving the NCD project. Sakhis have already proved their mettle by building a strong rapport amongst the community and providing basic healthcare facilities in remote rural locations, particularly in home-based new-born care.