MSD Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck Sharp & Dohme (known as Merck & Co. in the United States and Canada) and Smile Foundation today launched three Smile on Wheels mobile medical units to provide primary healthcare services to the underserved rural population in the districts of Balrampur, Chandauli and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Today in Lucknow, the mobile medical clinics were officially launched by Brajesh Pathak, the deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. A nationwide mobile healthcare initiative called Smile on Wheels is dedicated to provide primary healthcare services to underserved children and families in rural areas. Through the partnership, MSD Pharmaceuticals will fund these three Smile on Wheels mobile medical units, that will provide primary healthcare services for underprivileged citizens in and around the three districts of Uttar Pradesh, under its CSR programme in India.
Speaking at the launch, the deputy chief minister remarked, “It brings me great pleasure to flag off these mobile medical units, which will help access the healthcare services in Uttar Pradesh. “The UP government continues to focus on improving healthcare services in the state, and such complementary efforts deserve praise,” Pathak added.
Rehan A. Khan, Managing Director – India Region, MSD Pharmaceuticals said, “At MSD, we are committed to enhancing lives in India and ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality healthcare services. To address the unmet medical needs of our nation, we are aggressively forming lasting partnerships. Our partnership with Smile Foundation to launch ‘Smile on Wheels’ mobile medical units in Uttar Pradesh strengthens and supports capacity building for healthcare delivery to the most remote areas of the country,” he added.
The programme intends to meet the primary healthcare requirements of 10 lakh state residents. Primary care services would be delivered using advanced technologies right at the patients’ doorsteps, reducing the workload across government healthcare facilities and ensuring the provision of high-quality treatment.
“We are happy to be able to serve those who need primary healthcare services but cannot access them,” said Vikram Singh Verma, the foundation’s executive director. “We appreciate MSD Pharmaceuticals’ sponsorship of the Smile on Wheels programme and look forward to working with them to continue delivering primary healthcare services to the neighbourhoods,” he added.
The Smile on Wheels programme sends well-equipped mobile medical units, along with specialised doctors, nurses, medical staff, and medicines to villages and underserved communities to provide crucial access to healthcare services. The program’s goal is to make sure that those who live in underserved or unserved areas receive better healthcare services. More than 1.5 million children and families receive free medical care each year from Smile on Wheels in India.
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