Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) to provide strategic technical assistance to the Public Health Department of Maharashtra on Malaria Elimination and Dengue & Chikungunya prevention
Mumbai: Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), a leading emerging markets company, along with Centre for Health research and Innovation (CHRI-PATH) and Family Health India (FH India) entered in to agreement with the Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of Maharashtra to support the Government in Malaria elimination, and Dengue, Chikungunya prevention and control programme. The launch event marked the initiation of support to the Public Health Department of Maharashtra through technical assistance from two agencies, CHRI-PATH and FH India, supported by GCPL’s CSR initiative.
Malaria and other vector borne diseases are a major public health issue in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is a Category 2 state with most districts with an Annual Parasite Index (API) of less than 1 case per 1,000 population at risk but few districts that report an API of 1 or above. One such district is the eastern forest district of Gadchiroli with a high tribal population. The programme’s primary focus is to eliminate Malaria, with particular attention given to Gadchiroli district. Additionally, the programme aims to control the rapid increase in Dengue and Chikungunya cases, focusing on the Thane-Palghar district.
To achieve these goals, the support programme will appoint three state-level experts and 24 district-level human resources. These individuals will work closely with the government to strengthen human and entomological surveillance, enhance case reporting, and improve the clinical management of these diseases.
The occasion was chaired by Dr Ambadekar (Additional Director Health)/Dr Sarnikar (Joint Director Health) from Public Health Department of Maharashtra & attended by Ms Ahona Ghosh (General Manager, Sustainability Good & Green, GCPL), Dr. Sapkal (Regional Director, Health & Family Welfare), Dr Kamlapurkar (Asst. Director Health), Dr Jagtap (State Entomologist), Dr Sachin Gupte (Director, PATH), Dr Routray (Director PATH), Dr Amresh Kumar (Dy Director PATH), Dr Biswal (Technical Advisor, PATH), Dr Bitra George (Director, Family Health India), Som Kumar Sharma (Associate Director, Family Health India) etc.
The event emphasised the collective commitment and solidarity of all parties involved in the mission to eliminate Malaria and control Dengue and Chikungunya.
Dr. Sarnikar (Joint Director Health) from Public Health Department of Maharashtra shared, “Malaria, Dengue and other vector borne diseases are a big concern in Maharashtra, especially districts like Gadchoroli, Chandrapur and Thane-Palghar. Climate change is causing an increase in cases even in cold regions. Dengue variants can be deadly and we need to invest in necessary technology and prevention methods. We should learn from COVID-19 and be equipped and prepared to any vector-borne disease outbreaks. We are pleased to collaborate with Godrej Consumer Products, CHRI-PATH and the FHI teams to help support our aim to eliminate malaria.”
Ms. Gayatri Divecha, Head of CSR & Sustainability at Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies shared, “We have been investing in Malaria and other vector borne disease control programmes since 2016 and have reached out to over 30 million Indians at high risk. Our similar investments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been instrumental in moving the states to Category 1 index. Our biggest learning is that public health problems are interconnected, deep rooted, and require large scale systemic change and innovation. Partnerships with various government entities at the State Health departments, District Collectors, Chief Medical Officers and the people are essential to replicate success. We are thankful to the commitment, dedication, and strategic vision of the Government of Maharashtra to make this possible and take a step forward to eliminating malaria in India by 2030.”
Dr. Satyabrata Routray, Director Infectious Diseases, shared, “CHRI (Center for Health Research and Innovation) as an affiliate of PATH in India, has been supporting multiple state governments in implementation of national programs and public health initiatives including M-NTDs (Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases). In this project, CHRI with funding support from GCPL CSR initiative will establish TSUs (technical support units) at the national level and in Maharashtra, providing specific technical assistance for elimination and control of vector borne diseases, primarily prioritizing Dengue-Chikungunya and Malaria. With climate change and its effects along with uncontrolled urbanization, and waste management challenges, vector dynamics & vector-density is changing fast and with it comes the potential negative impacts of outbreaks of Dengue-Chikungunya, that are imminent threats which needs specific intervention of IVM (integrated vector management) along with outbreak investigation and response, in order to reduce morbidity and mortality in the community. This will enable accelerating state’s progress towards achieving Dengue-Chikungunya control and Malaria elimination in the country.”
Dr. Bitra George, Director Family Health India, said, “Family Health India will continue to provide support to National Centre for Disease Control, Maharashtra through direct implementation of Community Mobilization, Behavior Change Communication, Capacity Building of ASHA worker and health care providers and broader public health needs in the districts of Thane, Palghar and Gadchiroli. We are happy to collaborate with the Health Department and National Centre for Disease Control, Government of Maharashtra, Godrej Consumer Products Limited CSR and CHRI to complement the efforts for achieving the goal of malaria elimination by 2030.”