MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck Sharp & Dohme (known as Merck & Co., Inc. in the United States and Canada) and Smile Foundation today announced the launch of three Smile on Wheels Mobile Medical Units in the districts of Balrampur, Chandauli and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Shri Brajesh Pathak, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, flagged off the mobile healthcare units today in Lucknow. Smile on Wheels is a national-level mobile healthcare programme focused on serving underprivileged children and families. Through the partnership, MSD Pharmaceuticals will fund three Smile on Wheels mobile medical units, that will provide primary healthcare services for underprivileged citizens in and around the three districts of Uttar Pradesh, under its CSR programme in India.
“It gives me immense joy to flag-off these mobile medical units, which will support the healthcare accessibility measures in Uttar Pradesh,” said Shri Brajesh Pathak, Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh. “The Government of Uttar Pradesh continues to dedicate itself to improve accessibility to healthcare in the state and such complementary efforts deserve accolades,” Mr Pathak added.
Mr. Rehan A. Khan, Managing Director, MSD Pharmaceuticals, India Region said:“At MSD we are passionate about providing access to quality healthcare and improving lives in India. We are actively building sustainable partnerships to fulfil the unmet medical needs in our country. Our partnership with Smile Foundation to launch ‘Smile on Wheels’ mobile medical units in Uttar Pradesh strengthens and supports capacity building for health care delivery to the most remote areas of the country,” he added.
The programme aims to address the primary healthcare needs of 10 lakh people in Uttar Pradesh. The primary care services would be provided through enhanced technologies at doorstep, thereby sharing the load of Government health facilities and delivery of quality healthcare.
“We are delighted to be able to provide access to primary healthcare services to those who need it badly but cannot access it,” said Vikram Singh Verma, Executive Director, Smile Foundation. “We are grateful to MSD Pharmaceuticals for their support to the Smile on Wheels initiative and look forward to continuing to work with them to provide primary healthcare services to the community,” he added.
The Smile on Wheels programme sends well-equipped mobile medical units, along with specialized doctors, nurses, medical staff, and medicines to villages and underserved communities to provide crucial access to healthcare services. The objective of the programme is to ensure improved healthcare services reach the doorsteps of people residing in unserved or underserved areas. Smile on Wheels provides free healthcare services to more than 1.5 million children and families every year across India.