Project SAMARTH is an initiative by People-to-People Health Foundation (PPHF) and Cognizant Foundation (CF) in collaboration with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), West Bengal. The project aims to improve health and wellbeing of mothers and children in urban slum areas in Kolkata. The initiative will contribute towards the Government’s efforts on reducing maternal and infant mortality in urban slum areas in Kolkata. It will benefit the pregnant women, lactating mothers, mothers of children aged 0-5 years, children of 1-5 years of age and family members, adolescent girls and community volunteers and influencers over next three years in Kolkata slums starting with Basanti slums, under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The project also aims to improve access to Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) services of the Government among women and children, to improve community and key influencer knowledge and health seeking behaviour on MNCHN, and build capacity of the health and nutrition care providers for strengthening MNCHN skills.
On May 25th, 2022, the SAMARTH Project was officially launched by Sri Atin Ghosh, Hon’ble Deputy Mayor of KMC and delivered the “Keynote Address” in the presence of Dr. Laxmikant Palo, CEO – PPHF, Mr. Indranil Chakravarty, Vice President – Cognizant, Mr. Partha Basu, DPO ICDS, other dignitaries from KMC HQ and KMC Borough-III, other Government of West Bengal departments, the staff of People to People Health Foundation and CF Kolkata Core Committee members.
Sri Atin Ghosh, Hon’ble Deputy Mayor of KMC said, “I congratulate People-to-People Health Foundation and Cognizant Foundation for this initiative. The project will help mothers and children living in slum areas of Kolkata Municipal Corporation receive proper healthcare services. We all know that proper nutrition and healthcare are very important for a mother as well as her new-born child. These are equally important for the proper growth of the child and maternal healthcare going forward.”
Dr. Laxmikant Palo, CEO-PPHF said, “We need urgent actions to improve the urban health particularly for of slum dwellers in India with our collective power of public private partnerships. SAMARTH project intend to impact the health and well-being of urban underprivileged pregnant women, mothers, adolescents, and children. Through this intervention, we are committed to improve maternal and child health and services by increasing community awareness, addressing disparities, and increasing service uptake in Kolkata region.”
Ms. Rajashree Natarajan, CEO, Cognizant Foundation said, “For a safe motherhood and childhood health it is imperative to provide access to affordable, accountable, effective, and reliable healthcare, especially for the poor and vulnerable sections of the population. Project SAMARTH reiterates Cognizant Foundation’s commitment to launch initiatives that have a strong focus on child and women welfare.”
PPHF also highlighted the role of society in creating awareness about healthcare and wellbeing of mothers and children in urban slums areas in Kolkata along with how to fill the gaps and fulfill the challenges for better healthcare. The day also focused on the Service & Accountability in Healthcare along with Quality of Care in Maternal & Newborn Health Services in WB, Analysis on gaps and good practices, Maternal and Child Health Status, Urban Health in WB, Waiting Hubs for pregnant women to name a few.
Under the SAMARTH Project, PPHF and CF in partnership with KMC will conduct activities like – Baseline assessment with control site, Technical Advisory Group with representatives from key departments, Development and adaptation of need-based training modules and materials, Conduct BCC sessions with beneficiaries to improve knowledge and practices, Home-based counselling and skill building for maternal and child care, Capacity building of key influencers and health care providers, Endline Assessment and Dissemination, to name a few. With these approaches, it aims to increase community awareness and MNCHN service uptake in the project areas.
ABOUT PEOPLE TO PEOPLE HEALTH FOUNDATION: People to People Health Foundation (PPHF) is a non- profit organisation that works towards transforming lives for improved health and wellbeing through locally – driven solutions. PPHF works closely with communities and key actors on sustainable solutions for public health challenges. These include: Women, Adolescent and Child health| Non-Communicable Diseases| Nutrition| Infectious diseases – T.B, Malaria, COVID-19| Environmental Health| It focuses on building public health capacity and community actions for better health outcomes. It works collaboratively with stakeholders, leveraging partnerships and influencing policies and practices.
ABOUT COGNIZANT FOUNDATION: Cognizant Foundation (CF) is one of the channels of Cognizant’s CSR initiatives in India. The Foundation works to better the lives of the underserved section of the society in the areas of healthcare, education, and livelihood. Our key focus is to promote inclusion through impactful programmes that enable individuals and communities lead better lives.
CF supports Healthcare programmes of deserving organizations to bring high quality healthcare within reach to underserved people in the country. CF has adopted ‘preventing avoidable blindness’ and ‘promoting women and child health’ as its focus areas in healthcare, with an aim to prevent disabilities among children, women and adults. Under ‘promoting women and child health’, CF has been supporting programmes to provide quality and timely healthcare to underserved women and children. These programmes focus on reducing infant mortality, infant disability, and maternal mortality.