ACCESS Health International has joined hands with CARE India towards strengthening the pandemic response of India‚Äôs health systems in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect.  The partnership seeks to build upon the COVID relief service offerings of the respective organizations towards strengthening secondary care facilities to be more resilient and better respond to potential future surges. The partnership also seeks to support the development of robust community surveillance for better pandemic preparedness. 

CARE India is a prominent not-for-profit organization and part of the CARE International Confederation. It began its work in India over seventy years back, running comprehensive projects in health, education, livelihoods and disaster preparedness and response. As of 2019-20, CARE has 53 ongoing projects across 19 states in the country.  

Under the partnership, both organizations will collaboratively carry out COVID relief and preparatory efforts in mutually agreed upon geographies. In addition to its ongoing health system strengthening work focused mainly on RMNCHA components, CARE India has recently initiated a number of COVID response efforts. These include the operationalization of new COVID care centres in partnership with the respective state governments, supporting existing facilities through HRH augmentation and infrastructure support, streamlining procurement of equipment and consumables, and Institutionalizing community pandemic surveillance mechanism to keep a track on potential outbreak in clusters, among others. 

ACCESS Health India is known for its projects to strengthen the quality of care at secondary care hospitals in both public and private sector across several states. It has built mechanisms for facility quality assessment including tools and frameworks to identify the gaps in the health systems, and particularly at the facility level. It has also initiated the development of protocols for community level preparatory actions for early diagnosis and management of possible future surges. Under the partnership, ACCESS Health will share access to different tools/ modules for assessing and improving the quality of care at secondary care facilities. It will also provide training support to enable team members of CARE and respective government counterparts on adapting and using the methods.