Corporate Involvement Could Be the Key to Addressing Maternal Health

Corporate investments in the health and well-being of girls and women, if effectively harnessed and directed, could be the key to addressing maternal and newborn health challenges, according to a new report released by The National Bureau of Asian Research Center for Health and Aging.

The Business Case: Why and How Should Industry Engage in Maternal and Newborn Health highlights priorities and perspectives of leading business and health leaders on how the corporate sector can serve as a model for civil society, governments and other sectors working in health. By viewing maternal health as a business opportunity and an investment, not just a human right, companies can develop new markets for commodities and services, strengthen country operations, enhance their reputation as socially responsible and sustainable, and build partnerships with governments.

According to the report, the business sector must move beyond traditional CSR models and should invest in programming that has the potential to transform health systems. Training frontline health workers and implementing integrated health programs for workers and their families, for example, can directly impact maternal and newborn health. Companies can also invest in the health of women by supporting women-owned local businesses to combat poverty. Programs pairing health education with existing mass marketing mobile phone strategies or piggybacking on popular brands can also lead to more essential health information uptake for girls and women.

Additionally, the private sector has great potential to influence health policy. Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, stressed, “…political will is where business can potentially play a very important role.  Most people would agree that business is pretty good at lobbying in its own interests…[business] can help stimulate government and other bodies to really think through the overarching frameworks of policy to help governments ensure that they don’t cut development aid programs.”

This report was produced by the National Bureau of Asian Research, Center for Health and Aging, the secretariat of the Pacific Health Summit, an annual conference on global health and private sector engagement. The Pacific Health Summit is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Download the report here.
Learn more about the Pacific Health Summit and the 2010 Maternal Health Theme.

Entry Comments

    • Aug 29
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Pretty nice!

  1. Heartily agree!

    We’ve worked to prove the business case for workplace-based women’s health education and think even more can be done by businesses, governments, and civil society to support workplace women’s health education and services.

    Read our study that found a $4:$1 return on investment from women’s health education in factories in Egypt:

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