This year’s GBCHealth Conference on May 15-17 featured the richest content, widest range of speakers and greatest attendance yet. In line with the event's major theme around the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), participants left galvanized to accelerate efforts to save the lives of 4.4 million children and 200,000 mothers in less than 1,000 days.
In addition, the U.S. and Swedish governments and other partners announced a program to dramatically speed up the delivery of lifesaving health products such as bed nets, medicines, vaccines and contraceptives to 126 low-and middle-income countries. Through the partnership, Merck agreed to lower the prices of some of its vaccines and medicines and Vestergaard Frandsen agreed to lower the prices of some of its malaria nets.
The announcements came amid two days of high-powered sessions and 70 inspiring thought leaders, including the Earth Institute’s Jeffrey Sachs, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, CEOs, African health ministers and heads of the world's leading global health agencies. More than 100 companies participated.
With fewer than 1,000 days remaining to meet the global MDGs—which include targets for significantly reducing maternal, child, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria deaths—the conference stressed that these challenges can’t be met without bolstered private sector efforts.
“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. “Real estate developers say location, location, location,” said Ray Chambers, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria. “For us, it’s Global Fund, Global Fund, Global Fund.”
The wide range of issues delved into this year also included digital health, urban health and non-communicable diseases. We are confident that the GBCHealth Conference 2013 inspired and further equipped businesses to push forward toward accomplishing the MDGs and beyond.
Read opening keynote call to action to the private sector.