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The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will convene the week of September 23rd in New York City, drawing together government, business and health leaders from around the world. A prominent theme this year will be the Millennium Development Goals—eight targets that the global health community is working toward achieving by 2015. Many events and side events will take stock of the progress being made toward these goals, the intensified efforts still needed and the future “sustainable development agenda” for post-2015. Several events will focus on the role of business action in tackling key health issues, including events hosted by GBCHealth and our members Save the Children, PATH and World Vision. Read GBCHealth’s guide to UNGA side events.
Every year, GBCHealth recognizes the best and brightest in private sector health programs with its Business Action on Health Awards. Applications and nominations for the 2014 competition will open Monday, September 9th. The application process is online and straightforward: applicants answer a series of questions about their program, its impacts, and why it represents an outstanding response to a health need. Only for-profit companies can apply for an award, but non-profit partners and members of the public are invited to nominate businesses that are doing great work. GBCHealth will then contact nominated companies and invite them to apply. Read more about the awards, watch a short introductory video or join us for our webinar on Sept 4, where we'll give you all the guidance you need to submit a winning application.
September 12—13 | Accra, Ghana
Join GBCHealth’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) and Roll Back Malaria for a two-day private sector-targeted workshop examining the challenges and opportunities related to initiating and improving indoor residual spraying (IRS) and malaria control activities in workplaces and communities. Representatives from 30 companies and malaria managers from 14 West African countries will share their insights. Learn more.
September 17 | Bangkok, Thailand
Attracting some 500 participants from throughout Asia every year, the CSR Asia Summit aims to find better ways to drive corporate social investment and sustainable business practices. The GBCHealth-organized session, “The Future of Health,” will share best practice examples of sustainable corporate engagement in public health issues. The panel will explain how these initiatives can align with corporate missions and offer benefits such as cost-savings, product innovation, improved employee morale and strengthened community ties. Speakers will include representatives from GBCHealth, BD China, HP, Standard Chartered Bank, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Pfizer, Inc. Learn more.
September 24 | New York, NY
The global health community has made major progress toward reducing child and maternal deaths (Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5) but in too many countries, poor and marginalized communities are being excluded from these improvements. GBCHealth and World Vision International will host this invitation-only, GBCHealth members meeting to drive concerted action from all sectors to reach those "left behind" and to save the lives of millions of mothers and children. Speakers will include Ray Chambers, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria, Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO of World Vision and Janeen Uzzell, Director, Healthcare Programs, GE Africa. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News, will moderate. Read more.
Companies are invited to join the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact in advance of a September 23rd nutrition event occurring alongside the UN General Assembly meetings.
The compact captures commitments made at a June 8th event hosted in London by the UK and Brazilian governments and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, which aimed to reduce stunting and undernutrition globally. The event generated significant commitments from governments, civil society and business, including billions of dollars from donors. In addition, 22 companies pledged to introduce nutrition policies and to improve maternal health. Collectively, these pledges will improve the productivity and health of over 927,000 employees in more than 80 countries. Sixteen businesses made additional commitments to scale-up efforts in biofortification (breeding crops to increase nutritional value), reduce the cost of locally-produced therapeutic foods, fortify staple foods with essential micronutrients and improve water quality, sanitation and hygiene.
Businesses can join the compact by committing to introduce by 2016 a corporate nutrition policy for employees and to improve maternal policies, including support for breastfeeding mothers. Interested companies should contact Anne Heughan at Unilever—which has joined the compact and is urging other companies to do the same—and Louise Walker at the UK Department for International Development. Read more.
June 24 | Nairobi, Kenya
The Private Sector Advisory Panel on Maternal and Newborn Health officially launched on June 24 in Nairobi, Kenya. The panel aims to be the leading platform for addressing maternal and newborn deaths in Kenya. Partners—including GBCHealth, Global Compact, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), the Kenyan Ministry of Health, Safaricom and UNFPA Kenya—signed a Letter of Intent stating their commitment to the new initiative and to advocating for increased private sector action on maternal and newborn health in Kenya. The CEO of Safaricom committed to sponsor four motorbike ambulances to improve access to health services in rural Kenya, as lack of transportation and access to facilities is a primary factor preventing many women from delivering their babies in a skilled birthing facility. Read more.
GBCHealth also recently participated in the following events:
National Malaria Control Program Best Practices Sharing Workshop in Kampala, Uganda
Mining-focused Stop TB Partnership Board Meeting in Ottawa, Canada with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria's Dybul and South African Minister of Health Motsoaledi
Non-Communicable Disease Synergies Network Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda
Albert Schweitzer Centennial Symposium on Africa's fight to defeat the "Triple Epidemic" (HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria) in Libreville, Gabon
June 25 | Johannesburg, South Africa
The Private Sector Constituency (PSC) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held its third meeting on June 25. The PSC comprises about a dozen companies with operations or business interests in SADC countries, which are the 15 southernmost countries in Africa. GBCHealth serves as the PSC’s Secretariat.
Government officials, leading implementation partners and business leaders discussed next steps for the constituency. Topics included a regional cervical cancer initiative; GBCHealth’s new role supporting mining industry action to fight TB in partnership with the Stop TB Partnership and the MDG Health Alliance’s TB Pillar; and a potential nutrition initiative in Southern Africa. Read more.
The fourth Constituency meeting will occur on September 19, 2013.
GBCHealth's Executive Director Michael Schreiber recently spoke at a forum held in Geneva on using skilled volunteers to achieve universal health coverage. Volunteers can play an essential role in bridging the last mile between access to health care and the most remote communities and marginalized groups. The meeting was co-hosted by the Governments of Mexico and Zambia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), GBCHealth and Pfizer's Global Health Fellows Program. Watch video of the presention.
July 14-21 | Beijing, China
GBCHealth held a Corporate Summer Camp this July for 40 students from the Henan province in China. The students came from families in which one or more members have contracted HIV or died of AIDS. Activities included visits to sites such as the Great Wall of China and the Beijing Science Museum, as well as dance and painting classes. Several companies, including Microsoft and GBCHealth members BD and Standard Chartered Bank, hosted events for the camp with dozens of their employees engaging with the children.
July 24 | Webinar
Business Action for Child Health, the second in our three-part webinar series on the Millennium Health Development Goals (MDGs), addressed the private sector’s role in the final push to achieve MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger) and MDG 4 (reducing child deaths). Sheetal Bhadekar of DSM, a company active in health nutrition, spoke about the impact of hidden hunger and malnutrition on education, health and economic development. Representing World Vision, David McGinty emphasized the importance of long-term sustainable development and spoke about World Vision’s collaborative initiatives to support vulnerable communities. Read more.
August 8 | Virtual
GBCHealth’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) hosted a virtual members' meeting on August 8, 2013. Dr. Henry Nagai of FHI 360 presented “Sharing What Works in Malaria Control in sub-Saharan Africa,” highlighting the achievements of an award-winning, community-based malaria program carried out in two districts of Ghana in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Attendees also discussed CAMA’s work and achievements over the past year and future CAMA events, such as the upcoming West Africa Malaria Workshop. Read more.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded GBCHealth member Jhpiego a grant of nearly $3 million to expand worldwide access to contraceptive implants over the next two years.
The project, “Accelerating Scale-up of Implants,” will enable Jhpiego to fast-track efforts to introduce and strengthen high-quality family planning services by improving health providers’ skills with implants and helping selected countries scale-up implant availability.
Jhpiego’s work is part of a larger effort by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partners— such as GBCHealth members Bayer HeathCareAG and Merck—to make implants more affordable and accessible to women in low-resource countries. Read more.
The Child Health Now campaign invites GBCHealth members and supporters to take part in an outreach campaign to end poverty. Led by GBCHealth member World Vision, the mobilization will occur between 4-10 September 2013, ahead of the upcoming UN General Assembly, and calls on world leaders to "Close the Gap" on poverty so all children can live to see their fifth birthday. Supporters are asked to spread through the word through social media, blog posts and by signing the campaign pledge. Get more details here.
The Shared Value Initiative of GBCHealth member FSG has announced its first executive training course, "Gain Competitive Advantage through Shared Value." Featuring FSG co-founder Mark Kramer, the course will combine lectures, interactive exercises, peer exchange and workshops to develop and improve successful shared value strategies in corporate settings. The three-day course will be held November 12-14 in New York City and costs $7,500 or $6,000 for those who register by September 15th. FSG is offering GBCHealth members a special discounted rate of $5,000 if they register before September 15th.
Join nonprofit and business leaders at “The Network Effect,” the Business Civic Leadership Center’s 2013 corporate responsibility conference, to discuss how to tap into networks and use partners for scalable social impact. The conference will be held October 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Use the code “PARTNER” when registering to take advantage of GBCHealth’s 20% partner discount rate.
Net Impact’s annual conference is a leading forum for students and professionals who want to use their careers to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. Themed “Change Starts Here,” this year’s conference will take place October 24-26 in Silicon Valley.
Main image: Chhor Sokunthea / World Bank
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