Biocon Ltd., Asia’s premier biotechnology company, announced today that Biocon Foundation, its CSR arm, is the proud recipient of ‘WHO-India Public Health Champion Award 2015’ for its initiatives in the area of public health. Biocon Foundation has been recognized for its integrated healthcare initiatives through which it is constantly engaged in improving the quality of life of several thousand communities in India.
The Biocon Foundation was created in 2005 to redefine Corporate Social Responsibility, the Biocon way. The Foundation has been to make enduring social impact through healthcare and educational programs that build sustainability. It has chosen to focus its efforts on creating a comprehensive and integrated ecosystem that can deliver affordable and effective healthcare to India’s rural populations. Biocon’s integrated healthcare initiative spans preventive, primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare programs. Through primary healthcare centres, health awareness programs, public health and sanitation initiatives, preventive screenings for oral and cervical cancer and telemedicine, the Foundation is making an enduring impact on society.
The ‘Public Health Champion Award 2015’ is a new initiative by World Health Organization-India. The awards were presented at a national consultation held to commemorate the World Health Day 2015. Ms. Rani Desai, Head of Biocon Foundation, received the award from Dr. Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India, at a function held in New Delhi.
Expressing her delight at receiving the award, Ms Rani Desai, Head, Biocon Foundation said, “The Foundation has been recognized for its innovative healthcare models of preventive and primary health services through which we are engaged in creating a sustainable health ecosystem. Through our primary health clinics we aim to enable access to affordable healthcare to rural and urban marginalized communities.”
Biocon Foundation has accelerated its efforts in the area of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, while continuing to work in the area of basic health. It has done path breaking work using low cost mHealth technologies to ensure that healthcare reaches the last mile in remote and underserved communities in a very cost effective manner.
Commenting on the WHO award, Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon, said, “This is indeed a great recognition of Biocon Foundation’s tireless work in public health which brings great pride to everyone at Biocon. As an organization, we are always cognizant of the fact that we are in a humanitarian business of making a difference to human health and we continuously strive to deliver affordable access to underserved communities.”
Highlighting the importance of the public health champions awards, Dr. Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India, said, “Public health is a challenging field and these awards are our way of saying thank you to the talented individuals and organisations that have dedicated themselves to this field. These awards are an attempt to recognise and honour the best in this field and also to encourage others to emulate them.”
Appreciating Biocon Foundation’s approach to public health, the WHO Award citation stated, “Biocon Foundation focusses its healthcare programs on early detection and prevention of non-communicable diseases through a network of community health workers and nine Biocon Foundation primary health centres across Karnataka. It is also working on sustainable and cost-effective community based models for cervical and oral cancer screening and detection by community health workers who are trained to conduct screening using simple mobile technology. We acknowledge their contributions to public health in India, and honour them as a Public Health Champion.”
WHO India recently instituted the ‘Public Health Champions Awards’ to recognize and encourage the efforts of individuals and institutions who have made an outstanding contribution to public health through advocacy, impactful health policies, strategies and programs thus leading to substantial improvement in health outcomes in India.
The awards comprise two categories:
– Sustained contribution to the field of public health
Besides Biocon Foundation, SEWA Rural; Community Health Department, Christian Medical College, Vellore; and Dr Vinod K. Paul, AIIMS were also awarded by WHO for their contribution to public health. In the category of innovation, the awardees were Narayana Health and Ekjut.