Global healthcare company Abbott has committed to upgrading 75 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) across nine States in India in partnership with Americares India Foundation, a health-focused relief and development organisation. The HWC program, supported by an Abbott grant of about Rs 200 million (U.S.$2.4 million), will serve over 2.5 million people from under-resourced communities every year. These centres are vital to support the government’s Ayushman Bharat initiative, advancing access to affordable, quality healthcare equitably across the population.
The HWC program is part of Abbott’s commitment to further global sustainability priority of innovating for access and affordability in health. Currently, Abbott and Americares have upgraded 16 PHCs across Maharashtra, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as part of its first phase, serving over 500,000 people. They plan to upgrade the remaining 59 PHCs across the four mentioned states along with Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand by early 2024.
HWCs strengthen India’s primary healthcare system to advance access to care and support local communities. This also will support and tackle immense health threats and lessen the country’s burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which account for roughly 61% of all deaths in India.
The initiative has three core objectives – to upgrade local PHCs to HWCs, drive capacity building for healthcare workers, and improve community awareness around NCDs and infectious diseases. By expanding access to services across prevention, treatment and care, low-income populations can benefit from improved awareness of health and wellness, greater access and timely care, leading to better health outcomes.
Jasraj Virdi, Global Citizenship and Sustainability Director, Abbott, said, “In line with our 2030 Global Sustainability Plan, we intend to expand affordable access to healthcare by delivering innovative, decentralised models of care that advance prevention and early diagnosis, and provide quality treatment and care. Strengthening local health centres to be well equipped to meet community healthcare needs is a step in this direction. And these centres will also play an integral role in supporting the government’s health initiatives to ensure the delivery of quality primary health care that is affordable, equitable and sustainable.”
Shripad Desai, MD & Country Director, Americares India Foundation, commented, “Upgrading primary health centres to promote holistic health and wellness is critical today to support India’s Ayushman Bharat initiative and help improve healthcare delivery. Working with Abbott, we aim to continue shaping the future of quality healthcare and community building across the country.”