• Monday, May 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

GSK partners global NGO to save children’s lives

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GlaxoSmithKline, leading pharmaceutical company, has announced its partnership with Save the Children to save the lives of one million children over the next five years by developing and making available adapted medicines in some of the world’s poorest countries.

This unique collaboration is a five year partnership which includes sharing expertise, resources, reach and influence to tackle some of the leading causes of childhood deaths.

Explaining the idea behind the partnership in a statement, Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK global said the partnership is an opportunity to do something amazing, to transform the lives of millions more.

“At GSK we are motivated by developing innovative life-saving medicines and getting them to the people that need them. By joining forces with Save the Children, we can amplify these efforts to create a new momentum for change and stop children dying from preventable diseases. I hope this partnership inspires GSK employees and sets a new standard for how companies and NGOs can work together towards a shared goal.”

The GSK-Save the Children partnership will also focus on widening vaccine coverage to the poorest children, increasing investment in health workers, as well as developing a low-cost nutritional product to help combat child malnutrition.

Amongst the key initiatives are the transformation of an antiseptic used in mouthwash into a life-saving product for new-borns and the roll-out of a powder-form of an antibiotic in child friendly doses to help fight pneumonia – one of the main killers of children under five.

According to Justin Forsyth, the Chief Executive of Save the Children, in the statement “This ground breaking partnership involves both organizations working in genuinely new ways to save the lives of a million children. In the past, Save the Children may not have embarked on collaboration with a pharmaceutical company like GSK. However, we believe we can make huge gains for children if we harness the power of GSK’s innovation, research and global reach.”

For the first time, Save the Children will be involved in helping GSK to research and develop medicines for children, with a seat on a new paediatric research and development board to accelerate progress on innovative life-saving interventions for under-fives, and to identify ways to ensure the widest possible access in the developing world.

Save the Children and GSK have been working together for eight years on a number of public health projects, including GSK’s initiative to reinvest 20 percent of the profits it makes in least-developed-countries in community programmes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure, primarily through the training of community health workers.

GSK will be able to leverage Save the Children’s child health expertise and on-the-ground experience to reach children in the most remote and marginalized communities with basic healthcare.

 

DANIEL OBI