New Cumberland-based nonprofit launching insurance plan for treating clubfoot in India
New Cumberland and New Delhi, India, are connected by more than just the "new" in their names. CURE International, a New Cumberland-based nonprofit that operates charitable hospitals and clinics around the world, opened its first clinic in New Delhi in 2009 to combat the correctable condition of clubfoot in children.
Now, CURE's India division, CURE International India Trust, has partnered with London-based financial tech and consumer advocate company RemitRadar and Indian insurance company Bharti AXA General Insurance to provide insurance policies to all expectant mothers to access free treatment for children born with the clubfoot deformity.
This policy is the first of its kind, according to Central Pennsylvania-based CURE Clubfoot Operations Director Scott Reichenbach. "It's like nothing that we had ever heard of in the past," Reichenbach said.
RemitRadar had been successful raising awareness about clubfoot treatment in Kenya via its strong social presence and use of artificial intelligence, so when it approached CURE with the idea of an insurance platform, CURE was excited to get on board.
Bolstered by the endorsement of India's president Ram Nath Kovind and Indian state governments, CURE aims to eliminate clubfoot in India by 2022 with this insurance platform, increasing the number of children treated from 10,000 a year in India to 30,000 over that time. That 2022 goal, proposed by Kovind, also corresponds with India's 75th anniversary of gaining independence.
With clinics and support in every state in India - it recently opened one in Jammu and Kashmir, the last remaining state without a CURE presence - Reichenbach sees the insurance option as a way to ensure the long-term sustainability of CURE's work.
This policy is proposed to be available in clinics throughout India beginning April 1, 2018 and will last for 10 years. Reichenbach hopes it will expand possibilities for "national, sustainable" programs around the world.
"Once we demonstrate success there, we believe we'll be able to roll it out elsewhere," Reichenbach said.
Plus, he hopes this partnership simply helps raise awareness for mothers who don't know that clubfoot is treatable through the minimally invasive Ponseti method.
"It doesn't matter what strata of life you're in, you can be born with clubfoot, from the poorest to the richest, from the city to the country," Reichenbach said.
Since its founding in 1986, CURE International has partnered with organizations, health providers, and governments to address a range of global public health needs. Reichenbach encouraged others in the midstate and beyond that if there is a need, CURE is willing to collaborate:
"We certainly welcome any other businesses that have ideas or approaches that want to partner to come up with global solutions," he said.