Our India CSR initiatives
We partner India on national health priorities
Making a difference to our communities
Healthy communities are the backbone of strong, sustainable societies. In India, there are still millions of people without access to basic healthcare. To improve access to healthcare and to support people in vulnerable communities, GSK India has, over the years, initiated targeted corporate responsibility projects, run by local NGO (non-governmental organisation) partners. Our CSR projects are designed to be sustainable in the long term and cater to identified national priorities. In FY 2016, we invested INR 12.1 crore in communities that positively impacted over a million lives.
Our philosophy is to support selected health and employability programmes that are innovative, sustainable and produce tangible results in the communities. The programmes that we support share our vision of improving access to healthcare, and where possible, they also offer opportunities to involve GSK employees in assisting communities where we operate.
Partnering India to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)
In January 2012, we joined other global pharmaceutical companies and leading organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, in a new united effort to support countries to defeat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Together, this coalition supports the goals set out by WHO to control or eliminate 10 of the 17 NTDs by 2020.
GSK Pharma is a vital part of the nation-wide fight, led by the WHO, against one prioritised NTD -Lymphatic Filariasis. The disease is one of the principal causes of permanent disability, with more than 60 crore people in India being at risk of contracting this disease. LF, a mosquito-borne disease, is spread across 250 districts in 20 states of India.
It is more commonly known as elephantiasis, a condition with marked hardening and thickening of the skin that frequently accompanies massive swelling in the arms, legs, breasts and genitals. There is no cure for LF. However, albendazole works to prevent the occurrence of the disease in affected areas.
In 2016 alone, GSK Pharma has donated over 5 crore albendazole tablets to the WHO for distribution in affected areas. We have pledged to donate albendazole for as long as needed to help eliminate this debilitating disease.
Committed to saving our newborn babies
The statistics are dismal - of every four newborn deaths in the world, one is in India. We lose over 7.6 lakh babies within the first 28 days of their lives. 75% of these deaths are preventable. India has committed to reduce its Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019. Globally too, there is an emphasis on ending preventable deaths in newborn babies-the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (Goal 3 - target 2) states - "by 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births."
Our CSR project on newborn survival is closely linked to Government’s India Newborn Action Plan and we are working through a continuum of care approach in the identified high burden districts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (where the IMR is 49 and 61 respectively, which is much higher than the national average of 39). With continued focus, we aim to save more than 12,000 newborns a year.
Our CSR approach to newborn survival is holistic and includes capacity building of nurses and doctors for institutional delivery and neonatal resuscitation. In addition, it also includes training of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers for Home-Based Newborn Care (HBNC). We also extend facility support to ensure identification of low birth weight (LBW) babies and training of their mothers and families in Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). KMC is a simple, but revolutionary technique that involves providing body contact to LBW babies to help them gain weight. We have instituted a process for follow-up and monitoring of LBW babies and the outcomes are tracked for reporting and process improvements. We have dissemination workshops at state and district levels to ensure that our learnings bring about a systemic change, which is sustainable and replicable.
I get active support from ARTH associates and workers who visit frequently (GSK’s NGO Partner for the newborn survival project) to help me do my job. I explain to new mothers what precautions need to be taken for newborn care.
Setting up toilets at Nashik schools to improve sanitation
51% of people in India still defecate in the open, accounting for 60% of the world's total open defecation (OD) population. This is a major crisis that needs to be collectively addressed. Poor sanitation has far-reaching impact on health and wellbeing. Women and children are the worst affected. Children suffer from diseases such as diarrhoea and issues of safety and dignity are crucial to adolescent girls and women who have to defecate in the open due to the absence of toilet facilities in schools and houses. Given this situation, toilets for both boys and girls in schools prevents the rate of drop-outs-this retention is a crucial factor to encourage girls to continue their higher studies.
GSK joined the national call to action for Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya with a strong start in contributing to sanitation in schools in Nashik. There are 508 schools in the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), including 127 civic schools. According to a study conducted in November 2014, a record 933 schools (public and private) in Nashik had no washrooms or had non-functional toilets. GSK partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build/repair 74 sanitation units and 66 urinals, with complete water and waste disposal systems, thereby providing access to clean sanitation to 10,000 students, teachers and staff from five schools in Nashik.
Improving employability in Vemgal through skills-based training
India is a country of young people with more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 years. Experts predict that India’s economic progress in the next four decades will be driven through this demographic advantage. However, there is a lack of progress in education and skill-building initiatives. The Government of India launched a National Skill Development Corporation with an aim to skill more than 50 million youth by 2022.
GSK supports this national call to ‘Skill India’ at Vemgal, Karnataka, the site of our upcoming state-of-the-art facility. The project covers 20 villages within 5kms of our upcoming manufacturing unit.
I would like to create awareness on sanitation for women. In villages, women use cloth-I have now learnt that sanitary napkins are more hygienic. I want to carry this message to villages and I am proud to be a part of this unit.
Manjula, who has completed Class X, currently works in a sanitary napkin manufacturing unit in Vemgal, the site of GSK’s upcoming facility. Even before the site is complete, in true GSK spirit, our Corporate Social Responsibility team has identified issues faced by the community and has partnered with ‘Save the Children’ to set up this unit.
We have partnered to promote entrepreneurship amongst women, through the manufacture of sanitary napkins, supplemented with demand creation in communities and schools through awareness camps on menstrual hygiene. We are also training a group of men in construction management, starting with pre-fabricated toilets to promote sanitation in the vicinity. We will couple this training with awareness drives in communities on sanitation as well as promote leveraging of government funds for creation of individual household level toilets. We are also training a group of adolescents in housekeeping, electrical, automobile and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) skills.
So far, we have trained 112 adolescents and 12 women through our project. A group of 20 men are undergoing training in construction management and a new batch of 70 adolescents has commenced training in the four trades as well. We target to train around 300 youth in a year.
In addition to touching the lives of millions, our CSR projects have also been lauded externally. We received three awards in 2016 from FICCI, Scrip and the Bombay Chamber of Commerce for our community partnerships.
Hear from our CSR partners on their experience of working with GSK:
We know that we can’t take on community development challenges alone, which is why we collaborate with charitable partners, sharing our combined expertise to accelerate progress on national priorities. Hear what our partners have to say about the significance of our CSR projects and about their experience of working with GSK: