The UK-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline is partnering with Save the Children to share expertise, resources and reach to tackle some of the leading causes of childhood deaths.
The company and charity will work together to establish a joint paediatric research and development board, and to accelerate the availability of two children's medicines.
The two organisations say that the partnership will help save the lives of one million children. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will leverage Save the Children's child health expertise and project experience to reach children in remote and marginalised communities.
Two children's medicines and vaccines
The partnership will involve work on the transformation of an antiseptic used in mouthwash into a life-saving product for new-borns, and the roll-out of a powder-form of an antibiotic in child-friendly doses to help fight pneumonia.
The GSK-Save the Children partnership will also focus on extending vaccine coverage to the poorest children, and increasing investment in health workers.
The partnership will first involve projects in Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. These will then be replicated, incorporating lessons learned, and extended to other countries within Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Employee fundraising and corporate donations
The partnership also involves inspiring GSK’s global workforce to volunteer and fundraise for Save the Children. GSK will match up to £1 million of funds raised by its employees each year.
Through this and other charitable donations to Save the Children, GSK has committed to donate at least £15 million over the course of the five-year partnership. Additional contributions will be made through specific research and development programmes.
Save the Children and GSK have been working together for eight years on a number of public health projects, including GSK’s initiative to reinvest 20% of the profits it makes in least-developed-countries in community programmes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure, primarily through the training of community health workers.
A new type of corporate partnership?
Justin Forsyth, the Chief Executive of Save the Children said: “This ground breaking partnership involves both organisations working in genuinely new ways to save the lives of a million children. In the past Save the Children may not have embarked on a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company like GSK. But we believe we can make huge gains for children if we harness the power of GSK's innovation, research and global reach."
Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK commented: “I hope this partnership inspires GSK employees and sets a new standard for how companies and NGOs can work together towards a shared goal.”
Photos: Bert Wander/Save the Children
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