Chevron, Johnson & Johnson and BD announced at the GBCHealth Annual Conference earlier this month commitments to combat HIV/AIDS, improve maternal and child health and advance tuberculosis initiatives, respectively.
The U.S. and Swedish governments and other partners also announced a program to facilitate the delivery of lifesaving health supplies such as bed nets, medicines and contraceptives to 126 low- and middle-income countries.
The GBCHealth Conference is a global health event focused on the role of business in improving health. This year the event mobilized companies to accelerate efforts to save the lives of some 4.4 million people around the world by December 31, 2015, the expiration date of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
With fewer than 1,000 days remaining until the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals — which include global targets for significantly reducing maternal and child deaths and the impact of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria — the Conference stressed that these challenges cannot be met without the private sector.
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“Millions of people in resource-poor countries are dying from preventable causes and once again the business community needs to engage to meet these challenges,” said Gary Cohen, acting CEO of GBCHealth and Executive Vice President of BD.
Leaders called on business to help meet these goals by contributing to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the leading funder for those three diseases.
At the conference, Chevron committed to investing an additional $1.3 million over the next three years in its partnership in Nigeria to scale up efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Johnson & Johnson, through its company BabyCenter, said it will provide free, locally tailored information on the critical warning signs and care opportunities for the largest preventable causes of death among children — pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria.
BD committed to adding significant funding to combat tuberculosis.
The United Nations Global Compact this month announced it is redoubling its efforts to scale up corporate sustainability in Africa and emphasize the private sector’s role in contributing to the continent’s full economic and social renaissance. Following more than a decade of unprecedented growth, Africa is poised to unleash a strong business sector, with governments serving as a critical catalyst for change, according to the Global Compact.