Smile Foundation launched its mobile medical unit Smile on Wheels in partnership with BAE Systems to provide primary healthcare services to underserved communities in Bengaluru.
Apart from affording doorstep access to state-of-the-art medical equipments and facilities to urban poor communities in the city, the programme also envisages setting up referral linkages with local hospitals as well as a establishing a community health fund to become self-sustaining over the long-term.
Flagging off the mobile unit, BAE Systems Chairman Richard Olver said, “The India community investment programme in India is a fine demonstration of our shared global value of investing actively in the communities in which we work, including supporting social development. This healthcare programme is dedicated to the city of Bengaluru, the home of the India Hawk and the country’s aerospace sector which is spearheaded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, with whom we have the privilege of a strong, trusted relationship borne of our longstanding collaboration on the Hawk programme.”
The Smile on Wheels is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme in India through which it supports development programmes in the areas of primary education and healthcare in rural and urban communities across seven states of the country.
The ceremony, held at BAeHAL Limited, saw BAE Systems CEO Ian King hand over the keys of the mobile medical unit to Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, Vikram Singh Verma and Bangalore Baptist Hospital CEO Dr. Alexander Thomas. Bangalore Baptist Hospital will be the implementing partner for the programme.
Mr. Verma said, “This new Smile on Wheels is an excellent addition to our existing fleet of 23 mobile health units and enables a further expansion of our programme in Karnataka. The success of the Smile on Wheels model lies in its accessibility, availability and affordability for target populations with a special focus on children and women. With this, we are happy to deepen our partnership with BAE Systems as well as join hands with Bangalore Baptist Hospital who have an excellent track record of delivering community health services. I am confident that over time, the benefits of this programme will extend far beyond health services and lead to a measurable all-round improvement in the health-seeking behaviour of the communities it serves.”
Dr. Thomas further said, “Bangalore Baptist Hospital has been serving the poor and underprivileged with quality, ethical medical care for the past 40 years. We have been able to overcome the barriers of financial and physical inaccessibility to healthcare through our outreach services. We are indeed very happy to partner with Smile Foundation in their Smile of Wheels project that would further strengthen our efforts. We also thank BAE Systems for their support.”