Johnson & Johnson Aims to Help Up to 120 Million Women and Children Each Year Through Five-Year Commitment to U.N. Millennium Development Goals
Every Mother, Every Child will Bring Mobile Health Programs; Treatments for Intestinal Parasites, HIV and TB; and Safe Birth Programs to Women and Children in Developing Countries
New Brunswick, NJ - Johnson & Johnson today announced the launch of Every Mother, Every Child, a comprehensive, five-year, private-sector effort to improve the health of women and children in developing countries. The initiative supports the United Nations’ April 2010 call for a renewed effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing mortality in women and children by 2015.
Every Mother, Every Child aims to help as many as 120 million women and children each year over the next five years, and represents a significant commitment of grants, medicine donations, research and development. Implementation and results will build over the five year period. The effort includes treatments for intestinal worms, health information for pregnant women over existing mobile phones, research and development of new medicines for HIV and tuberculosis (TB), and efforts focused on enhancing birth safety and improving health.
“We have a responsibility to contribute to a future in which women and children have the latest knowledge, technology and medicines to support good health,” said Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO William Weldon. “Johnson & Johnson has a long history of advancing care for women and children, and we’re pleased to continue that legacy with this commitment.”
“This is the type of initiative we have called for, and I commend the emphasis on integration of mobile technologies, medicines, new science and prevention,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Today’s announcement supports the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health, and is being made in conjunction with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit, to be held September 20-22 in New York. The Summit, which is expected to close to 150 heads of state and corporate and NGO leaders, will call on governments, non-profits and businesses to accelerate progress toward all MDGs. The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health will be unveiled on Wednesday, September 22.
Johnson & Johnson’s Every Mother, Every Child aims to increase life expectancy and quality-of-life for women and children in the developing world. Our goal is to reach over 50 countries through our philanthropic programs focused on maternal and child health. The effort includes the following programs:
* Mobile Health for Mothers - With more than 1.1 billion women in low- and moderate-income countries owning a mobile phone, it is now possible to provide timely health information in even the most remote locations. More than 15 million expectant and new mothers, in six developing countries, will receive mobile free phone messages on prenatal health, reminders of clinic appointments and calls from health mentors over the five-year program. Countries in the effort include Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa.
* Intestinal Worms in Children – The Company plans a four-fold increase in its current support, with a goal of donating 200 million doses of mebendazole, a treatment for intestinal worms in children, each year. It is expected that it will take about two years to materially scale up production and to build partnerships with organizations on the ground to implement the program fully. The program aims to distribute mebendazole in 30 to 40 countries by 2015, and includes education to help prevent treated children from being re-infected.
* R&D Innovations – The Johnson & Johnson commitment includes research and development to bring forward new treatments for HIV and TB, both of which disproportionately affect women and children in the developing world. The Company is currently working to develop what could become the first TB drug with a new mechanism of action in 40 years, antiretrovirals to treat HIV and potentially prevent HIV transmission from pregnant women to their infants, as well as new technologies that may, in the future, prevent the transmission of HIV between adults.
* Safe Birth Programs – Johnson & Johnson will extend current commitments to peer education programs that have been successful in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; reducing a life-threatening condition in infants caused by lack of oxygen at birth (birth asphyxia); and upgrading existing health care facilities to accommodate more women at risk of fistulas. Fistulas are a debilitating tissue rupture in mothers caused by obstructed labor, resulting in incontinence and infections.
Johnson & Johnson currently partners with more than 200 organizations to improve the health of women and children around the world including Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, CARE, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the International Partnership for Microbicides, mothers2mothers, Save the Children, the Task Force for Global Health, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, and health ministries in such countries as China, Brazil, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.
“This is a wonderful example of what can be done today to decrease maternal and child mortality, as well as invest in long-term research and development,” said Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver. “Johnson & Johnson is a global corporate citizen and we hope others will follow its example.”
In the last decade, Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies have provided more than $4.3 billion in grants, product donations and patient assistance that have touched the lives of men, women and children throughout the world.
For additional materials about Every Mother, Every Child, and a video overview, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqWKgDs_Fik.
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