PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
Partnership with St. Jude India Childcare Centre
In India, there are 40,000–50,000 new cases of cancer annually, that occur in children <15 years of age. About 70% of these cases belong to economically weaker sections of society. A disturbing reality is that only around one in 10 of the childhood cancer cases receives complete therapy. The survival rate of childhood cancers is as low as 30% as compared to 80% in developed countries. Abandonment rate in low-resource settings are a mixture of direct and indirect costs associated with treatment such as the traveling, accommodation, transportation and loss of wages, among others. The result is that many lives are snatched away prematurely. However, a quality support system can reduce the abandonment rate and improve the survival rate. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this results in over 90% of childhood cancer deaths occurring in low resource settings.
Even as affording effective cancer care remains a major barrier in the country, it subsequently becomes more pronounced in North-East, India as it is underserved especially when it comes to medical facilities. In spite of high prevalence of cancer in the region, most cancer patients travel outside northeast for treatment due to inadequate facilities.
In partnership with St. Jude India ChildCare Centre, Roche Children’s Centre provides holistic support to children suffering from cancer who travel from rural villages and small towns to Mumbai for their .Along with a clean place, families are provided nutritional support, transportation, counselling, educational and recreational activities for the duration of their treatment period. Children of all age groups from toddlers to teenagers are housed at the centre. Most are from low income families and are in dire need of help The kids and their parents are given a unit to stay in and are supported in every step of the treatment journey. They are supported by providing nutrition, hygiene, shelter and education on a sustainable basis. For the children, there are education programmes, art and music therapy to help cope with the disease. Psycho-social support with counselling is provided for parents. Additionally, the parents are also taught new skills that they can use to augment their incomes once they go back home. There are various activities that the parents and children can do together to keep their minds away from cancer. Two such centres have been established in Mumbai and Guwahati.
Journey So Far
- 68 children provided accommodation and cared for at Roche Children Centre
- 100% families completed treatment process at Roche Children Centre
- 100% children remained infection free at Roche Children Centre
STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. JUDE INDIA CHILDCARE CENTRE
Skill training initiative for parents of cancer patients
Parents leave their source of livelihood when they relocate to Mumbai for their child’s cancer treatment. With mounting expenses, surviving in the city especially becomes difficult for families coming from lower social and economic backgrounds.
This need prodded Roche to support a skilling initiative for parents at St. Jude India ChildCare Centre, which aims to teach them technical skills such as two-wheeler repair and mobile repair for income-generation, while simultaneously continuing with treatment.
Journey So Far
- Van purchased for implementing trainings across St. Jude centres in Mumbai
- Training will be conducted with 10 participants at a given time
PARTNERSHIP WITH LIFE LAB INITIATIVE
Inculcating Activity Based Learning methods amongst underprivileged children
Innovation in science and technology are what makes Roche’s core business and work life fascinating. As a research based healthcare company, Roche Pharmaceuticals India realises the impact of education, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and experiential learning on building scientific attitude among children.
The current education system continues to follow traditional methods of education, which is immensely based on rote learning. This leads to challenges such as lack of interest in learning, lack of application based scientific knowledge and lack of experiential learning which leads to poor employable skills among Indian youth.
In Maharashtra, the National Achievement Survey Annual Reports reflect below than average science scores in the state for III, V and VIII grades. Additionally, there are high dropout rates due to lack of interest in classroom, with 76% students not making it to higher education system (data from LIFE Lab’s Needs Assessment Study).
Roche’s partnership with LIFE Lab aims to tackle these issues from the ground-level to create long-term and sustainable systemic change among all stakeholders which include children, educators and parents.
Roche has partnered with the Life Lab program to develop an interactive, inquisitive, cognitive and problem-solving temperament in students from 3rd – 5th grades through Activity Based Learning (ABL) and by creating support structures to enable teachers to repurpose their roles as facilitators. This program aims to improve the quality of education through experiential learning platforms in under-privileged and low-income government schools as students lack application-based scientific knowledge. critical-thinking skills. The Project is aligned to the government’s focus on strengthening STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in schools and that learning outcomes have improved by an average of 44% after these educational interventions.
Journey So Far
- 6 Government schools will receive support to improve learning and teaching outcomes
- 1150 children will benefit from Activity Based Learning sessions, covering 70% of their science syllabus
- 19 teachers will be provided with teacher training and support
ASSOCIATION WITH SEEDS INDIA
Aiding to rebuild lives and infrastructure post 2018 Kerala Floods
The 2018 floods which affected Kerala between July to August 2018 wrecked unprecedented havoc to the state, with incessant rainfall and landslides. Additionally, the opening of dams across the state has rendered thousands of families’ homeless overnight.
In response to the 2018 floods, Roche in association with SEEDS, is working in the Wayanad district of the state with the objective to increase the resilience of affected communities. SEEDS’ initiative aims at equipping most vulnerable with appropriate tools and technologies, sharing knowledge and skills and promoting linkages among stakeholders for enhanced health of flood affected people in the region.
Journey So Far
- 55 wells cleaned and rehabilitated
- 50 health workers receive training and capacity building support
25 health workers receive training on mental health