Piramal Foundation joins hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote better health for tribals

The Tribal Health Collaborative, slated to be launched in early 2020, will work closely with the government of India by supplementing and complementing its efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
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The Piramal Foundation has set up a Tribal Health Collaborative to tackle health issues in the tribal region of India. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be one of the foundation’s first partners in this collaboration, which will focus on improving health and nutrition outcomes in high-burden and tribal districts, including aspirational districts.

The collaborative, which is slated to be launched in early 2020, will help support the government of India as it works towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 by 2030. SDG 3 is focused on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.

Piramal Foundation Founder Ajay Piramal with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co Chair Bill Gates

Ajay Piramal, Founder, Piramal Foundation said, “We’re committed to supporting India’s vision to achieve its SDG 3 goals by 2030. Increased focus on rapidly transforming the lives of marginalised sections of society, will serve to accelerate impact at scale.”

The Tribal Health Collaborative will work closely with the government of India by supplementing and complementing its efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

It aims to build a high-performing, sustainable health ecosystem to address the needs of the marginalised sections of the society, particularly tribal communities, covering a population of more than 150 million across several districts, including aspirational districts in Central, Eastern, and North-Eastern India.

Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “India’s focus on health and nutrition, particularly for its most vulnerable, is critical to the country and the world’s efforts to meet SDG3. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the government in its work to improve the health and wellbeing of the world’s poorest”.

The collaborative will rest on two key pillars: working closely with the government, and co-designing and co-implementing interventions for tribal communities.

The four key functions of the platform include:

  • Facilitating the implementation of key public health interventions in partnership with government functionaries across all levels.
  • Developing and enabling knowledge sharing across districts by working closely with the district administration.
  • Optimising utilisation of district-level funding for improved healthcare services.
  • Leveraging technology to ensure better governance and accountability, and creating an integrated beneficiary-focused health technology platform for the delivery of affordable and accessible primary healthcare services for all.
Ajay said: “Given the complexity and magnitude of the problem, we believe that partnerships with like-minded, values-based organisations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that seek to complement the government’s efforts, will provide the much-needed impetus.”

Piramal Foundation has been working with unserved and underserved tribal communities across several states in India, including 25 of the aspirational districts. The proposed collaborative aims to harmonise the interventions of the government, organisations, and philanthropists with the “voice of the community” by creating a framework to democratise healthcare in India.

India’s tribal population has poor health indicators when compared to the general population. The average maternal mortality rate in India is 130 deaths per 100,000 births, while tribal communities average 230 deaths per 100,000 births.

Similarly, other health indicators such as infant mortality, child malnutrition rates, and incidence of malaria and tuberculosis are much higher among tribal communities than the general population.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)


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