• 15 February 2013
  • Features
  • By Cheryl Pinto

Project KAVACH: Safeguarding child health

Ms Cheryl Pinto shares with us the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts taken by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in the area of healthcare


Ms Cheryl Pinto, director, corporate affairs, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Glenmark Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (GPL) has chosen two core areas as part of its CSR initiatives, which are child health and sustainable livelihoods. The flagship initiative, which is in the area of child health is focused on children upto the age of five and pregnant mothers. We have initiated three significantly large child health projects in India, where one initiative focuses on the child health issue in over 100 tribal villages in Madhya Pradesh, whereas another initiative focuses on over 150 villages in Rajasthan and the third child health project focuses on over 2000 low-income households in Mumbai.

Globally, child health care is a huge concern. India is committed to achieve MDG (Millennium Development Goals) targets and Glenmark has resolved to focus on the crucial MDG 4-to reduce child mortality. Child Mortality Rate (CMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) are critical indicators of child health.

We have made a beginning by taking certain initiatives to bring about the change. A few years ago for our flagship program, we had undertaken detailed research in the field of child health. We arrived at the following conclusions:

  • People need to be educated and informed about how they can take care of pregnant mothers, new born infants and children
  • It is important to spread knowledge about vaccines and the importance of taking them at the right time
  • Malnutrition, absence of proper sanitation and lack of proper immunization are the main reasons of high CMR and IMR.

The findings of the research enabled us to draft "Project Kavach-Healthier Children Healthier World"-the child health care program as conceived by Glenmark in 2010. The word "kavach" means "a shield"; symbolizing protection. The project aims at protecting and saving children through various interventions.

To enhance the reach of Project Kavach, we divided our initiatives into three broad categories i.e. tribal, rural and urban. Project Kavach's strategy is to systematically identify the target group; educate and inform them about positive health seeking behaviour and introduce several novel service delivery mechanisms to help us make an impact in our intervention. We initiated projects in two of the most affected states in the country, where the IMR/CMR is very high-Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. We also took up an initiative in the slums of Mumbai, where levels of malnutrition are high. 

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