Arpana Research and Charitable Trust
One of the biggest obstacles to improving the health of women and children, the aim of UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, is inadequate primary care capacity. Pfizer has been working the Arpana Research and Charitable Trust, an NGO operating in rural and urban India, since 2002. Pfizer's funding and in-kind support is now focused on building technical capacity at Arpana Hospital, a 135-bed facility in rural Haryana, and in the NGOs' operations in two other Indian States.
A key focus of Arpana's work is on expansion of its maternal and child health work, as well as gender empowerment interventions that include self help groups and micro-financing. Pfizer has worked with Arpana to create a self-sustaining business model in which fees from paying patients help to support low-income patients and community service programs. Additionally, Pfizer has connected Arpana to other funding sources, including government programs and multilateral entities, to promote sustainability and scale up of the NGOs' program within India.
Key achievements within the rural program in Haryana include:
Decreasing anemia rates among pregnant women by 32%, and among adolescent girls by 51%;
Creating 1,046 home kitchen gardens that have helped reduce levels of malnutrition, and increasing household nutrition through the cultivation of local fruits and vegetables;
Reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, with a 20% reduction in low-birth-weight infants, a 20% increase in institutional deliveries and a lower prevalence of neural-tube defects; and
Improved awareness of the health care needs of pregnant women and children less than five years old, which has led to a 94% coverage rate of antenatal checkups.