Reliance Foundation to work on reducing Neonatal Deaths

The philanthropic arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, Reliance Foundation will be working on reducing the number of infant, maternal, and neonatal deaths. The foundation has formed an alliance with four other companies and development segment organizations to work for this cause.

Project Aasman

The project is named Aasman and was launched in New Delhi. For this project, Reliance Foundation is associating itself with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Tata Trusts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and pharmaceutical major, MSD India.

These organizations will strive to provide the best facilities and quality healthcare under the five pillars of the government’s Reproductive, Child Health, Newborn, Maternal, and Adolescent Health Programs. They will also work in association with the National Health Mission and the Central and State governments.

Neonatal death refers to the death of a child within 28 days of birth, while infant death means the death of a child within one year of birth.

Views of Nita Ambani

Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambanisaid, “I believe that every life must be cared for and we should strive for a healthy India, where no mother is lost to childbirth and every child can live life to his or her fullest potential.”

Ambani feels that the aim will be achieved through firm, strong, and sustainable partnerships. She also said that the foundation feels proud to be a part of the alliance. Together, these organizations share great synergies. They are dedicated towards the same passion and commitment. They want to overcome huge national challenges on a mission mode.

The partnership will not be restricted to financial fronts. It will enhance the institutional experience, expertise, and shared commitment,so that they work for the betterment of mother and child survival in the country, she added.

Neonatal and Maternal Mortality in India

Being the second highest populated country of the world, India sees more than 3 crore pregnancies, annually. Out of these, only 2.7 crore women reach the delivery stage. More than 56,000 mothers die in less than two days of delivery. These two days are very important for the child as well. Half of the total neonatal deaths happen in the first 48 hours.

The states that have the highest neonatal mortality, maternal mortality and infant mortality are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Bihar.

Reliance Foundation

Reliance Foundation is the biggest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of any private conglomerate in the country. Its annual spending is around INR 750 crores. Founded in 2010, the foundation has touched the lives of 40 lakh individuals in over 5,500 villages across the country.

In the health sector, the foundation strives to provide world-class facilities and treatments to patients. It already works for women and child health to spread awareness on various health concerns like anemia, menstrual hygiene, child immunization, reproductive health of women, cervical cancer, and sanitation of adolescent girls, among others. It also counsels and educates mothers on issues like malnutrition in children. Over 11,500 women and children in 124 villages have benefitted from Reliance Foundation’s health camps.

Summary

Reliance Foundation along with other organizations has launched a project to work for reducing neonatal, maternal and infant mortality rates in India.

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