Unilever International Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty 2014 – Big Tick, Shortlisted
GSK has committed to reinvest 20 per cent of profits made in least developed countries (LDCs) back into those countries to develop health infrastructure through training frontline health workers.
- 41 programmes in 34 LDCs across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Haiti. Successfully advocated to governments for increased investment in frontline health workers.
- By the end of 2014, over 15,000 frontline health workers will have been trained, improving access to health for over 5 million people, reducing mortality and morbidity rates.
- Improved pre- and neo-natal care, identification and treatment of common conditions such as malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition, and vaccinations.
- Equipped training institutions and utilised technological advances to increase the quantity of health workers trained and the quality of training received.
- Since launching the GSK Developing Countries Market Access (DCMA) business unit in 2010, the volume of medicines supplied to LDCs has increased by 60% to 89 million in 2013.
- GSK medicine sales in LDCs have increased by up to 80% per country.
- In 2013 alone, GSK received approvals for 18 products treating key diseases present in LDCs. GSK has topped the Access to Medicines Index three times. This has helped to establish their reputation.
- Funds available for 20% reinvestment have grown from £2.5m in 2010 to £5.1m in 2013 in line with increased access and business performance.
“ The chronic shortage of trained frontline health workers in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) is recognised as one of the most fundamental constraints to achieving the MDGs. Reinvesting 20% of the profits we make in these countries provides a sustainable model to help improve healthcare infrastructure. Sir Andrew Witty,GSK CEO There is a shortage of appropriately resourced and trained frontline health workers, especially in least developed countries (LDCs). ”
– Sir Andrew Witty,
GSK’s initiative focuses on training frontline health workers who are the most critical to child and mother survival. This includes community health workers, midwives, nurses and doctors, who act as the first point of contact in remote areas, where the nearest health facility could be hours or even days away.
The initiative is educating and supporting communities to take greater ownership on managing health. It is also advocating for improved human resources for health at the community, regional, national and global level.
GSK is using technology (e.g. mobile phones and internet) to support training and connectivity between health workers and public health systems.
The mechanism for funding these programmes is GSK’s commitment to reinvest 20% of profits generated each year in LDCs back into those countries. GSK delivers the initiative through a unique, collaborative partnership with three NGOs, each leading a geographic region: AMREF in east and southern Africa, Care International in Asia and Save the Children in west and central Africa. There are 41 programmes in 34 countries, and since 2009 GSK has reinvested a total of £15m into supporting healthcare infrastructure in LDCs.
“The chronic shortage of trained frontline health workers in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) is recognised as one of the most fundamental constraints to achieving the MDGs. Appropriately trained and supported frontline health workers can improve access to basic health services in their communities, leading to improved health outcomes, especially for mothers and children.
“GSK has made a commitment to reinvest 20% of profits generated in LDCs back into those countries, into programmes that strengthen health infrastructure and widen access through training frontline health workers. Reinvesting 20% of the profits we make in these countries provides a sustainable model to help improve healthcare infrastructure.”
The Unilever International Award supported by Business Fights Poverty recognises businesses that have positively impacted one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Award is part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.
The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category have positively impacted over seven million beneficiaries. These companies are helping to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, support various aspects of the health agenda, and build global partnerships for development between civil society, business and governments. These programmes demonstrate innovation, scale and the potential to be replicated, highlighting the importance of business as a key enabler of the MDGs.
The case studies profiled in this week’s special on Business Fights Poverty provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade. For more information, click here.
This article was previously published on Business In The Community and is reproduced with permission.