By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver
The creation of the MDG Health Alliance was recently announced by GBC Health, a private sector nonprofit coalition that works to improve health around the world. The announcement took place at their two-day GBCHealth Conference in May.
The Alliance is working in alignment with the Millennium Development Goals targeting maternal and child health. According to the Alliance, there are 5 underlying initiatives, and they will work towards 7 main goals: 1) improve child health; 2) improve maternal health; 3) achieve near-zero malaria deaths; 4) achieve near-zero transmission of HIV from mother to child; 5) recruit, train, and equip one million community health workers; 6) save one million lives from TB-HIV co-infection; and 7) ensure universal access to reproductive health. A call to action was issued to business leaders, to lend their skills and expertise to the upcoming initiatives.
As part of the announcement, several initiatives were also explained, including a project based in India which would scale up supply and distribution of zinc and oral rehydration solutions, which can prevent deaths due the second largest killer of young children, diarrhea. Also announced was a digital training study which could cut costs of training for community health workers by as much as 75 percent.
Other initiatives include work that will focus on collaborations in expertise and resources in the public and private sectors, to deliver affordable, accessible, and quality maternal and reproductive health care to women, and leveraging the skills and knowledge of business leaders to eliminate maternal-to-child transmission of HIV. The Alliance works to support the work of Every Woman Every Child, an initiative of the United Nations, and collaborates with many partners, including UN Foundation, PMNCH, and the Global Compact.
John Tedstrom, President and CEO of GBCHealth said “When businesses pull their collective skills and resources toward a clear health goal, they can reach it. We’ve seen the power of the private sector in achieving tremendous strides in areas like HIV/AIDS and malaria and know that its work with the MDG Health Alliance will move mountains.”
More information about the MDG Alliance is available here.
Flickr photograph via DFID - UK Department for International Development.