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Vishwaas: A breath of hope

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Oct 31, 2019
By the Philips Foundation team
Every year, more than 140,000 children under five years of age die from pneumonia in India – a staggering one child every four minutes. This makes Childhood Pneumonia the largest contributor to under-5 deaths in India. With the absence of awareness on the disease and accessible quality treatments at both community and public health facility level, the most disadvantaged children are the worst affected.

New Delhi - India — Committed to addressing this silent emergency in the country, Philips India, Philips Foundation (with its mission to provide access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities) and Save the Children (global child rights organization) have joined forces to develop and prove low-cost innovative approaches for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia. 


The two-year pilot titled 'VISHWAS (Breath of Hope)' will bring high-quality pneumonia care to approximately 90,000 under-five children across 45 urban wards of Tonk District in Rajasthan, and two rural blocks (Prayagpur and Huzoorpur) of Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh - two of the five worst-affected states. The outcomes aimed at with this programme are (1) an app for improved awareness on prevention and care-seeking practices in affected communities, and (2) effective treatment and management of pneumonia cases at community and healthcare facility levels.


This partnership, unlike other CSR initiatives, focusses on collaboratively designing a systemic change model that integrates care, early detection, and mobile health technology, with transformative behavior change communication. Determined to drive change with experts, the group has on-boarded ZMQ – a leading social enterprise to design a practical app to change social behavior. Philips and the Philips Foundation will provide technical expertise to support the development of an ICT-based case management tool for informed decision making at the facility level. Save the Children brings to the partnership on-ground experience of reforming institutional and frontline healthcare delivery and subject-specific technical expertise.


Speaking on the collaboration, Daniel Mazon, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips India says, "As a leading health technology company, Philips' vision is to improve peoples' lives through meaningful innovations. Philips is committed to supporting the reduction of cases of pneumonia in children under five years through this collaboration with Save The Children for awareness and on-ground activation."


CEO of Save the Children India, Ms.Bidisha Pillai, adds - "We are thrilled that a transformational partnership of this scale provides us with an ideal opportunity to address Save the Children's global breakthrough (2030) -'No child dies before his/her 5th birthday due to a preventable cause' - by reaching 90,000+ most marginalized children with appropriate care against pneumonia. We hope this co-creation model inspires other collaborators and sets new standards for private-civil society partnerships towards jointly addressing social challenges on a global scale."


The Philips Foundation believes that through innovation, based on an in-depth knowledge of the local situation, we can provide access to quality healthcare and really improve the lives of people in disadvantaged communities. – Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation


Towards the broader aim of wide-scale replication by the government, the programme will adopt strategies aligned with the government-endorsed PPDT framework (Prevent, Protect, Diagnose, Treat & Manage) under Integrated Action Plan for Diarrhoea and Pneumonia.  The programme resonates with Prime Minister Modi's clarion call for building transformational partnerships towards setting global benchmarks for quality management of childhood pneumonia in India (at the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Partners' Summit held in November 2018).


The collaboration will condense learnings and best-practices from the programme towards building an evidence-backed case for reducing childhood pneumonia in India on the merit of 'shared value partnership.' Reduction of under-five mortality from 39 in 1000 live births in 2016 to 23 by 2025 is one of the prime goals of India's National Health Policy 2017. In order to achieve this goal, mortality due to childhood pneumonia needs to be reduced to less than 3 per 1000 live births from the current level of 5.7 per 1000 live births, which is also in tune with the goal of India's Integrated Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea (IAPPD).

About the Philips Foundation

The Philips Foundation is a registered charity that was established in July 2014 – founded on the belief that innovation and collaboration can help solve some of the world’s toughest healthcare challenges for the underserved and make essential impact. Reflecting our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) and 17 (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development), the mission of the Foundation is to reduce healthcare inequality by providing access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities. The Philips Foundation fulfills its mission by deploying Philips’ expertise, innovative products and solutions, by collaborating with key partners around the world (including respected NGOs such as UNICEF, Amref and ICRC), and by providing financial support for the collaborative activities. More information on the Philips Foundation can be found at

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About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 80,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at 

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