Indian Hospital Chain to Fight Maternal Mortality

08 Apr 2010

Hyderabad, India, 8 April 2010 - UNDP-supported Business Call to Action (BCtA) announces that LifeSpring Hospitals has committed to provide an estimated 82,000 Indian women and their families with access to quality healthcare.

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) today announced that LifeSpring Hospitals ― a chain of small hospitals providing low-income clients in India with access to maternal and child healthcare services ― has committed to provide an estimated 82,000 Indian women and their families with access to quality healthcare. In the next five years, LifeSpring will increase the number of hospitals serving mothers and children throughout India from 9 to 200, which will improve overall standards of care and reduce rates of maternal and childhood deaths.

LifeSpring Hospitals is the first healthcare chain to join the BCtA ―a global leadership platformnfor companies that leverage core business expertise to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ― a set of eight goals designed to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child deaths by 2015. Specifically, this initiative will contribute to MDG 5 which seeks to reduce the maternal death ratio by three quarters. “Meeting the health needs of women and children is especially important as the MDG to improve maternal health has made the least progress so far,” said Natalie Africa, the Programme Manager for the Business Call to Action. “Innovative business models such as LifeSpring Hospitals are helping to make real, sustainable progress by providing women with quality, lowcost healthcare.”

She added that while such measures were not cost free, the evidence suggested that they can have results which go beyond the temporary alleviation of suffering. “Well designed, they can help make societies more crisis-resilient over the longer term, and contribute to more stable and equitable growth.”

Women in India often face devastating risks during pregnancy due to poor health, unsafe home births, and inadequate access to quality healthcare. More than 100,000 pregnancy-related deaths occur each year. Another 100,000 women suffer from infections due to pregnancy. Most of these deaths and complications could be averted by providing a standardized level of care. Unfortunately, in much of India, quality healthcare is associated with high prices and is out of reach for many of the country’s poorer citizens.

“The opportunity to provide women a safe, dignified and affordable birth is at the heart of LifeSpring,” said Mr. M. Ayyappan, Chairman of the Board of LifeSpring Hospitals. “LifeSpring is revolutionizing maternal care by offering affordable and superior services to the increasing population of lower middle class Indians seeking high quality healthcare.” LifeSpring Hospitals, which accommodate 20-25 beds each, provide lower income mothers with high-quality, healthcare and delivery services at 30-50 percent of market rates. LifeSpring Hospitals also provide paediatric care, including immunizations, as well as diagnostic services, a pharmacy and healthcare education to the communities in which they are located.

About Life Spring - Created in response to the dearth of opportunities available for low-income women to access both affordable and high quality healthcare, LifeSpring is an expanding chain of small maternity hospitals specializing in core maternal health services. With a dual goal of fulfilling its social mission while achieving financial sustainability, LifeSpring aims to serve as a model for providing high quality health services to the poor in India and worldwide.

The Business Call to Action is a global initiative that seeks to challenge companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Global Compact, the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Australia, the Clinton Global Initiative and the International Business Leaders Forum to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The BCtA tracks commitments companies make and lessons-learned on what works well for both businesses and poor communities that can be replicated globally.

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