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Godrej initiates dialogue on importance of ‘Partnerships and Collaborations’ for malaria elimination

‘Achieving a malaria-free India’, a first-of-its-kind conclave, organized by the Godrej Group in partnership with the Vector Control Research Center (VCRC), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was held at Godrej ONE, Mumbai on 03rd August 2017. Stakeholders representing thought leaders from government, academia, the private sector and social & non-profit organizations, discussed the need and merits of partnerships and collaborations in achieving a malaria-free India.

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Dr. Bitra George, on behaviour change communication campaigns to reduce malaria. #MalariaFreeIndia
He further talks on training ASHA workers in various districts. #MalariaFreeIndia

The key highlight of the conclave was a panel discussion on ‘Partnerships and Collaborations towards achieving malaria-free India’. Insightful discussions on India’s current challenges, lessons from the past, the merits and challenges of partnerships, roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders and concrete next steps to make the vision a reality was discussed. It was a power-packed panel comprising Prof. Dr. Sabesan, Senior Consultant, VCRC; Dr. Anup Anvikar, National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR); Shireen Mistree, India Health Fund, Tata Trusts; Neeraj Jain, Country Director, India, PATH and Vivek Gambhir, Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. Indrajit Gupta, Director, and Co-founder, Founding Fuel moderated the panel.

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In his opening remarks, Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group, said, “Malaria continues to be one of the most significant public health issues confronting India today, with about 1.5 million new cases detected every year. Our Health Ministry has endorsed the goal of achieving a malaria-free India by 2030. Given the scale of the vision outlined, the importance of partnerships and collaborations is paramount. In line with this, our conclave today aims to create and facilitate impactful conversations on malaria elimination among key thought leaders from the ecosystem.”

“Partnerships and collaborations present continuous opportunities within the ambit of multi-sectoral approach. They act as catalyzing factors for bridging the physical and behavioral barriers and enabling the motivators/influencers to expand the application of interventions as well as strengthening community systems alongside extending support to improve overall health systems. Leveraging distinctive strengths of stakeholders, the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP), civil society organizations & corporate sector, donor & partner agencies, and others should reaffirm the commitment to advance our common elimination vision.”

— The Chief Guest of the conclave, Dr. Shampa Nag, Project Director, Caritas India

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Speaking at the conclave, Mr. Vivek Gambhir, Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, said, “With project EMBED (Elimination of Mosquito Borne Endemic Diseases), we have embarked on a journey of collaboration with various stakeholders, including the government, social sector, and the community. With gradual reductions in the malaria burden in our pilot districts, our project model is a testament to the productivity and importance of partnerships. As an FMCG player with a robust household insecticide portfolio, we have brought financial resources, knowledge on mosquito behaviors and prevention strategies, and a strong understanding of community members, to the fight against malaria. To further our outreach efforts, we have partnered with the VCRC for this conclave and will continue to work in collaboration with them to develop an action-oriented way forward from the discussions of the conclave today.”

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The conclave saw meaningful deliberations on malaria elimination, including individual paper presentations by students of VCRC on different aspects of vector borne diseases; a presentation on Godrej Consumer Products’ pilot project EMBED by Dr. Vikas Goswami, Head Sustainability, Good & Green, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies and Dr. Bitra George, Country Head, India, FHI 360. Prof. Dr. S. Sabesan unveiled a research paper on ‘Public Private Partnership (PPP) towards malaria elimination in India’.

The conclave was part of Godrej Group’s awareness platform, launched with the vision to create and facilitate impactful conversations around key issues that are of national significance. The platform will continue to engage with diverse stakeholders groups including government, academia, NGOs, regulatory bodies, industry bodies, media and digital influencers on socially relevant subjects.

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Malaria in India:

India has the highest malaria burden in the Asia Pacific region, with more than one billion people at risk of infection. Official estimates reveal 10 lakh cases of malaria reported in the country every year. India accounts for 70% of malaria cases and 69% of malaria deaths in the South East Asia region. Over 80% of India’s population lives in ‘malaria transmission high-risk’ areas

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The Government of India has made a commitment to eliminate malaria from the country by 2030, in line with the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) and Global Technical Strategy for Malaria. Eliminating malaria in India will result in substantial public health improvement in the country, and would also lead to important improvements in the economic situation for families burdened by malaria.

About Godrej Group

Established in 1897, the Godrej Group has its roots in India’s Independence and Swadeshi movement. Our founder, Ardeshir Godrej, lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur failed with a few ventures before he struck gold with a locks business.

Today, we enjoy the patronage of 1.1 billion consumers globally across consumer goods, real estate, appliances, agriculture and many other businesses. In fact, our geographical footprint extends beyond Earth, with our engines now powering many of India’s space missions.

With revenue of over USD 4.1 billion, we are growing fast, and have exciting ambitious aspirations. Our Vision for 2020 is to be 10 times the size we were in 2010.

But for us, it is most important that besides our strong financial performance and innovative, much-loved products, we remain a good company. Approximately 23 per cent of the promoter holding in the Godrej Group is held in trusts that invest in the environment, health and education. We are also bringing together our passion and purpose to make a difference through our Good & Green strategy of ‘shared value’ to create a more inclusive and greener India.

At the heart of all of this, are our people. We take much pride in fostering an inspiring workplace, with an agile and high-performance culture. We are also deeply committed to recognizing and valuing diversity across our teams.

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