The Importance of CSR for NGOs supporting the treatment of children with Congenital Heart Defects
November 24, 2022 | Contributed by Preeti Kumar
Non governmental organisations (NGOs) have been playing a critical role in ensuring that the lesser privileged communities in the country get access to the basic parameters needed to live a healthy and respectable life. They have played an active role in improving communities and developing societies and have made a mark in multiple areas such as health, education, livelihood, women’s empowerment to name a few. Being not for profit, NGOs in turn are dependent on corporate donations to charity to carry out their mandate.
In the health domain, in particular the Government has been able to execute many of the plans due to the partnership with NGOs. In the field of children’s health in particular, one cannot overlook the role that NGOs, have played in improving child and infant mortality, promoting institutionalised deliveries, improving the uptake of immunizations and providing financial support for many critical illnesses such as cancer and congenital heart defects to those families which are unable to afford the treatment. To do this, NGOS have to raise funds through multiple channels, which include reaching out to individual donors, organising fund raising events, and relying on corporate donations to charity.
In India approximately between 200,000 and 250,000 children are born with a congenital heart defect. Of these 70,000 are critical defects, implying they need urgent medical treatment to remain alive till their first birthday. The average cost of the treatment for a child however varies between Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakhs depending on the type of defect (CHDs are of different types). For many people in India, this cost is extremely high. Working in this space we have seen families have to borrow from friends and family and yet not be able to gather the amount required. We have seen them being pushed to take rash decisions such as sell their assets to save their child and many stall the treatment leading to adverse consequences for the child. Donation for heart surgery helps organisations working to support the treatment of these children raise the funds to save a life.
With the advancements in medical care, very often with one intervention, a child born with a congenital heart defect is able to live a normal life.
Many foundations have been working to support the treatment costs of such families that are unable to bear the burden of the cost of treatment. The NGOs, being not-for profit are in turn dependent on raising enough funds to be able to support more and more children. While individual donations continue to support these organisations, corporate donations for heart surgery are critical. They play a main role in the following ways:
Expand and create a larger impact: Funds received from corporate donations to charity are usually larger than what one receives through individual donations, enabling organisations to support a larger number of children who have a congenital heart defect, and in turn saving many more lives. The more the children that are saved the greater is the impact in reducing child mortality.
Support for treatment: To support the treatment costs of children whose families are unable to pay for the same, NGOs also need funds. Donations for heart surgery enable NGOs in building a pool of this and reaching to help those in need. Having said this, raising donations for heart surgery sometimes becomes challenging. Awareness about the magnitude of congenital heart defects is lesser as compared to that of other conditions such as childhood cancer.
Support in building awareness: building awareness is the first step to a timely diagnosis and a timely treatment. Many organisations working in the realm of congenital heart disease also need to undertake substantive work especially at the grassroot level where awareness is limited. Corporate donations to heart surgery help NGOS get the necessary funds to undertake activities that aim to build awareness about the disease at it’s treatment across the country.
Support for Overheads: NGOs and foundations, are offices at the end of the day working for a mission which is not to generate profit. They employ professionals who are skilled and experienced to carry out the necessary programmes. In addition, there are many overheads such as travel costs, computers, among others which need to be covered for these organisations to function effectively. Corporate donations to heart surgery should also support a certain percentage of this cost to ensure better quality of output.
Most NGOs are working on a large scale today. To be able to carte a large impact and save as many children as possible, they are dependent on raising funds from multiple sources. Corporate donations to charity and specifically donations for heart surgery are needed to enable these foundations to carry out their missions.