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BMSFcommitted to healthcare cause

👤FM News Bureau 🕔10-March-April-2013
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Corporate major Bristol-Myers Squibb India has been involved in mitigating healthcare problems at the grassroots level for quite some time now. Its corporate social responsibility wing, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), is engaged in improvement of community healthcare models through active people participation and integration of disease management services with local support structures. In an Interview with Future Medicine, Kanchana TK, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs & Philanthropy of Bristol-Myers Squibb India, talks more about the initiatives of the Foundation.

By FM News Bureau

What are your key philanthropic initiatives?

Our commitment to corporate social responsibility has remained consistently strong since the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) was established in 1955. Since then, our company has invested in a broad range of programmes that reflect our values and serve the needs of society. The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of people disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilising communities in the fight against diseases.

The Foundation engages partners to develop, execute, evaluate and promote innovative programmes to improve the health outcomes of people disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes in the US, China and India; HIV/AIDS in Africa; cancer in Central and Eastern Europe; hepatitis B and C in Asia; and serious mental illness in the US.

You have receivednational or international recognitions for CSR/ philanthropicactivities.

Bristol-Myers Squibb was ranked No. 1 on Corporate Responsibilitymagazine’s 2012 list of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens,” a benchmark for socially responsible investors and other stakeholders. Bristol-Myers Squibb was ranked among the top 10 in the last four years and No.1 in 2009. Bristol-Myers Squibb is the only company to achieve the No. 1 ranking twice. Delivering Hope programmes was recognised by CMO Asia with an Asia’s Best CSR Practices Award in the category of Concern for Health in July 2012.

What's your company's social outreach in India?

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation partners with NGOs and health organisations in India on projects to improve the health outcomes of people disproportionately affected by Type 2 diabetes and Hepatitis B and C.Delivering Hope TM, an umbrella programme for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's efforts in the areas of Hepatitis B and C awareness, prevention and care, has in the past five years expanded its efforts considerably across India, providing more than Rs20 crore to support 18 grants in many states of the country. The works of the Delivering Hope grant recipients have greatly impacted their communities.

As part of ‘Together on Diabetes’, the BMSF hasannounced grants to six institutions in India that will help improve diabetes education, prevention and care and increase healthcare worker capacity in rural and tribal areas, and among the urban poor. The BMSF India grants will test new ideas about how diabetes control efforts can be best designed and implemented to help individuals in a variety of settings.

How do you ensure active participation of the community in your development and empowerment programmes?

BMSF has developed a unique philanthropic model supported by three pillars that ensure active participation of the community. This includes serving local needs where BMS has strong expertise, building sustainable models by helping to build capacity for local BMSF partners, and by using an integrated and comprehensive approach in the prevention and control of disease.

The Foundation also convenes Centres of Excellence conferences that provide a platform for all Foundation partners in India to share insights and best practices that can be implemented in local communities.

What are your major patient assistance programmes in rural India?

In the past five years, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has expanded its efforts considerably across India. The works of the Foundation’s Delivering Hope grant recipients have greatly impacted their communities.

The Health-Oriented Programmes and Education (HOPE) initiative in partnership with BMSF has conducted an awareness, screening and education programmesacross 10 districts in Uttar Pradesh. The Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura (HFT), with funding from BMSF, has initiated projects to support institutional strengthening and systemic community outreach and education activities. This resulted in at least 70 per cent of the adult population in Tripura becoming aware of Hepatitis B and how to prevent the infection.

The Liver Foundation, West Bengal, with financial support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, carried out training programmes with the broader objectives of educating rural healthcare practitioners (RHCPs), improving their knowledge, attitude and practices with regard to the services they provide, and more importantly involving them in various community-level public health programmes.

Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child, anorganisation based in New Delhi and with operations in 14 states, will receive a grant over three years to pilot a study to determine the feasibility of involving India’s lay community health workers (Accredited Social Health Activists) and integrating various systems of medicine, including modern and AYUSH, to prevent and control non-communicable diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes.

The All India Institute of Diabetes and Research in Naranpura and Swasthya Diabetes Hospital in Ahmedabad will receive a grant over two years to develop and test a three-setting model to improve access to diabetes education, prevention and care for the poor in rural, tribal and urban settings.

The  Sanjivani Health and Relief Committee in Ahmedabad will receive a grant over four years to conduct a household-by-household study in 348 villages to identify Type 2 diabetes and ensure early diagnosis of undetected diabetes among those with pre-diabetes or at high risk of developing diabetes.

How many lives have you impacted?

More than 26 million individuals living in areas disproportionately impacted by hepatitis across Asia have benefitted from the BMSF’s Delivering Hope-related education and awareness programmes which include training of more than 163,000 health workers and vaccinations of nearly 600,000 people.


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