RB, NDTV and Smile Foundation come together to combat mother and child deaths in India

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Amitabh Bacchan to champion the Swastha Banega India Campaign

Pan India Release, 17 August 2019: With Amitabh Bacchan championing the cause of health of new mothers, Reckitt Benckiser, NDTV and Smile Foundation have come together to launch the Swastha Banega India Campaign focused on pregnant mothers or young mothers, on August 19 at Jamnabai Narsee School, Vile Parle in Mumbai.

The six-month long campaign, with the non-profit Smile Foundation as the ‘implementing partner’, will focus on pregnant and young mothers. While raising awareness on the need of health seeking behavior, good nutrition and safe and hygienic sanitary practices, the campaign ‘Swastha Banega India’ in its sixth edition aims to address a larger goal of reducing mother and child deaths in India.

Data from The Lancet’s Series (May 2014) shows that most maternal and infant deaths occur in the first month after birth: almost half of postnatal maternal deaths occur within the first 24 hours, and 66% occur during the first week . In 2013, 2.8 million newborns died in their first month of life─1 million of these new-borns died on the first day.

According to the World Health Organisation under nutrition affects mortality and ill-health along the entire continuum of care from pre-pregnancy to early childhood.

Data shows that poor dietary quality and inadequate intake of micronutrients as well as low energy intake, contributes to at least one-third of child deaths and 20 per cent deaths during child delivery.

WHO says that more than 60% of all under-five child deaths can be avoided with proven, low-cost preventive care and treatment. Preventive care includes: continuous breast-feeding, vaccination, adequate nutrition and use of insecticide treated mosquito nets. Similarly, safe sanitation practices, coupled with wholesome nutrition, which includes iron, calcium and carbohydrates can prevent 20 per cent maternal deaths.

Amitabh Bacchan, who is the brand ambassador for the campaign will be launching the ‘Swasth Box’ – which has been carefully curated by health care experts to address the health, sanitation and nutrition challenges among the underserved women population of our country.

The pan India campaign will reach out to over a 1000 women to raise awareness on the issue of mother and child deaths across India. In the second phase, Swastha Boxes will be distributed among the vulnerable populations over a three month period across states in India and in the final phase, reflections from beneficiaries- mothers and communities will be captured as an outcome for the campaign.

1. Every Newborn, An Executive Summary for The Lancet’s Series. May 2014
2. Nour N. 2008. An Introduction to Maternal Mortality. Reviews in Obstetrics &Gynecology. 1:77–81.

“Community outreach is a critical aspect of this campaign and that is facilitated by outreach volunteers as the community has low levels of awareness and poor health seeking behavior,” said Santanu Mishra, trustee and co-founder, Smile Foundation

“Smile Foundation will ensure that the kit reaches the women who need it the most and also influence the mindsets to ensure that the mother and newborns or infants are safe and healthy.” he added.

Website: http://www.smilefoundationindia.org/


Jaya Shroff: Smile Foundation: [email protected] | 9818194294