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Business News/ Brand Stories / Building India’s critical care infrastructure is the need of the hour
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Building India’s critical care infrastructure is the need of the hour

Mission ICU is a social initiative that is focused on building critical care capacity in small towns and rural areas by setting up ten-bed ICUs

Mr. Maanoj Shah, Co-founder, Mission ICU.Premium
Mr. Maanoj Shah, Co-founder, Mission ICU.

The world now being divided in the pre and post-COVID era, is now a given.  And also, this has brought to light a lot of flaws and inconsistencies in our existing system. While the entire country encountered one of the worst medical crises in history, during the second wave, for the tier 2 and tier 3 towns and rural areas, this was beyond imaginable. And although a lot of individuals and social/ religious and business associations stepped in to help, these largely remained sporadic or localised efforts. If anything, the COVID crisis has highlighted the urgent need for strategic public-private partnerships to drive consistent and sustainable change, at the grass-root level, especially when it comes to building healthcare infrastructure and facilities. 

One such project that has been working relentlessly over the past year, is Mission ICU, which is a social initiative that is focused on building critical care capacity in small towns and rural areas by setting up ten-bed ICUs. The initiative was conceived by Dr. Ashwin Naik, Maanoj Shah and Dr. Edmond Fernandes and has already mobilised support from various CSR organisations, foundations, and private donors to rapidly scale up ICU setup in the rural areas. Speaking about the need of the hour, and the work of the organisation, Mr. Maanoj Shah, Co-founder, Mission ICU, said,Mission ICU started in the peak of the second wave which alerted all of us about the grave healthcare infrastructure crisis. In a span of one year, we brought the conversation to focus on rural healthcare to the mainstream. While we have successfully installed 110 ICU beds across 11 locations including 4 states. These also include 10 ICU Beds in each of the 4 towns in Maharashtra, namely Dhule, Buldhana, Sangli, and Nanded. Continuing our efforts of sustainable change in 2022, we have been focusing on identifying key locations in North East and, post a stringent due-diligence process, have recently installed a 10 ICU beds facility in one of the most remote locations of our country, Tamenglong- Manipur. And I am proud to share that our effort helped increase the critical care capacity of the hospital by 200%."

The pandemic has given rise to changemakers and social entrepreneurs and created a pool of opportunities for people who want to make a difference and work towards addressing challenging causes. And this is the core of Mission ICU’s model that is focused on working together with government hospitals and local organisations to ensure sustainable impact. Mr. Shah firmly believes that public-private partnerships will be at the core of any sustainable change, in the long term.

Since their inception in 2021, Mission ICU have been initiating conversations around the inequity of healthcare facilities in the urban Vs rural areas. They have worked tirelessly to reach out to and gain the support of large organisations, willing to partner with this cause. Speaking about their funding strategy and partners, Mr. Shah added, “When we started, we were not sure how far we would go, because each 10 ICU Bed Kit costs around 45 lacs. We are grateful to our partners who realized the urgency of supporting a cause like Mission ICU and believed in our ability to reach these hospitals directly and create a grass root impact. With their help, within the first 3 months, we managed to achieve a goal of 100 beds! Arogya World sent us the first check after just one round of conversation. Partners like Crypto Relief went out of their way to support our cause and committed support for 100 ICU beds. United Way Bengaluru, Wadhwani Foundation, and Kantar also came on board. Our partner at Kantar initially committed to fund one location but gradually extended it to 3 locations. USAID’s Samridh Health initiative came forward to support Mission ICU with operational funding for the longevity of the project. We are in talks with more partner organisations who are willing to support our project and expand our outreach to most remote parts of the country."

What has also been unique about Mission ICU has been their strategic focus on bringing transparency to the entire initiative, with the launch of their 'Impact Dashboard' that gives insights into how each facility is impacting people’s lives. Their efforts were recognized by the World Economic Forum and featured them among India's Top 50 Last Mile responders. They have also launched the 'Mission ICU Talk Show' and reached out to prominent CSR heads and thought leaders, sharing their learnings and experiences in the social impact space. Going forward, they aim to set up 1000 ICU beds across 100 locations in India, including some of the remotest villages, helping strengthen the foundation of critical care infrastructure in under-resourced hospitals. Additionally, leveraging their own on-ground experience, they aim to build a knowledge source and a playbook that helps other organizations to take up this cause and even execute it independently or with the support of team Mission ICU. 

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

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Published: 27 Jun 2022, 07:36 PM IST
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