● First of its kind mobile medical unit to screen COVID-19 symptoms and initiate appropriate referral; provide telemedicine facilities; raise awareness on Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and vaccine hesitancy
● Initiative to cover nearly 2 million slum dwellers covering 96 slums of Mumbai and Pune
● Bank to invest more than INR 3 crores in addition to their previous donation towards COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in India last month
Mumbai: Piramal Swasthya, the healthcare philanthropic arm of Piramal Foundation and MUFG Bank Ltd. in India, today, have announced the launch of ‘SAMARTH’ (Mobile Health Services initiative in Maharashtra). The initiative aims to enable better public health care delivery through mobile medical units (MMUs) to nearly 2 Million residents of 96 urban slums of Mumbai and Pune. The key objective of this initiative is to address key healthcare requirements such as Mother and Child Health (MCH) and Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) management to ensure continuous accessibility to critical health services.
Children as well as adults would be the key beneficiaries of the program where services like technology enabled specialist consultations, laboratory examinations and medicines will be provided free of cost through MMUs. In addition to this, ‘SAMARTH’ will provide support in COVID-19 pandemic management through awareness generation, tracking, active surveillance and follow up at quarantine facilities.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Aditya Natraj, CEO, Piramal Foundation said, “We are happy to collaborate with MUFG in their endeavour to serve the communities that live in tough conditions in the slums of Mumbai and Pune. The pandemic has disrupted health care services and they are highly affected. I believe that the Mobile Health Services will be an asset during these tough times. Through SAMARTH we hope to walk one step closer to the vision of Universal Health Coverage for all.”
The Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) will also be supported with population based screening of NCD patients which includes diabetes and hypertension. Comprehensive service including RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child Health & Adolescent), screening, treatment, referral for Non-Communicable diseases and first-level care for minor ailments to the populace are unique features of these MMUs.
Sharing his thoughts on the launch, Atsushi Deguchi, Regional Executive for India & Sri Lanka, MUFG Bank, Ltd. said “COVID has left a deep impact on the lives of countless people across the globe. MUFG is doing its best to provide relief and comfort to communities affected during the pandemic. We are happy to collaborate with Piramal Swasthya in their efforts to build healthier communities by providing preventive healthcare facilities”.
Project SAMARTH is one among the multiple initiatives undertaken by the Bank in India towards COVID -19 relief and further strengthens MUFG India’s response to the urgent needs of the community during this pandemic crisis. Recently the Bank announced a contribution of USD 1 million for projects covering treatment management at healthcare facilities and supporting a vaccine deployment program for needy communities that will also raise greater awareness of vaccination and COVID-19 prevention practices.
Mobile Medical Units in project SAMARTH are equipped with telemedicine facility. Patients who require specialist consultation at MMU will be connected to specialist doctors via video conferencing as per their needs. The MMUs will use Piramal Swasthya’s integrated health records platform, ‘AMRIT – Accessible Medical Records via Integrated Technologies’. AMRIT is a technology platform to deliver primary health care thereby making health care available, accessible and affordable. It will produce Electronic Medical Record (EMR) of each beneficiary and help not only in the clinical management of diseases/conditions but also in bringing in accountability and ensuring better governance. AMRIT will serve as the technology backbone of the MMUs.
SAMARTH would directly benefit all individuals residing in the catchment area which may include vulnerable population such as people living with chronic illnesses, and/or those at high-risk of developing non-communicable disease, pregnant women, lactating mothers, etc.