Field note: NICE Foundation

Taking on maternal and child health is a tall order, especially in a country that accounts for about a quarter of all global infant deaths. In Hyderabad alone, two babies die every hour. The **[NICE Foundation]( http://healthmarketinnovations.org/program/nice-foundation)**, a Hyderabad-based organization that first opened its doors in 2002, has stepped up to the challenge, providing quality medical care for mothers, newborns, and children across Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. NICE’s facilities include a much-needed modern hospital offering tertiary care to newborns and children in Hyderabad.

The CHMI team had an opportunity to visit NICE’s main medical facility, the Institute for Children and Newborns, while in Hyderabad last month, a bright and clean building slightly reminiscent of a schoolhouse. Dr. Padmanabh Reddy, the organization’s CEO, enthusiastically delivered the organization’s mission - saving lives. Prior to 2002 when the Foundation was first registered, the city had only four public hospital beds for critically ill newborns. The organization’s new hospital facility has now added 150 beds, about half of which are subsidized for poorer patients. NICE cross-subsidizes between its wealthier and poorer clients, offering more comfortable waiting areas and better hospital rooms to those who are able to pay, while maintaining simpler accommodations for the poor. One thing, however, remains constant – quality. Newborns are not segregated based on their family’s income status and nurses do not know whether the baby that they’re caring for was born to a high or low-income mother. This ensures that all infants get the same quality care.

NICE Foundation also implements school and tribal health programs, ensuring that children enrolled in public schools in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, as well as women living in hard-to-reach tribal areas, receive necessary health care completely free of charge.

We were lucky enough to visit a local school benefiting from NICE’s programs and it was easy to see the motivation behind its focus – keeping these precocious children in school, healthy, and smiling.

View photos of mothers at hospital, and children at the NICE school program [here](http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=139896022729067&set=a.13989583272...).