Together, a Meaningful Difference
“When you look after a woman, when you look after mothers, you look after the family,” says Babatunde Osotimehin, M.D., Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “It is important that we have a holistic way of dealing with poverty and other factors that make women and children vulnerable, particularly in program countries where these women and children live.”
UNFPA, together with UNAIDS, UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), make up the H4+ partnership, a coordinated initiative that ensures these international organizations work together for women's and children's health through local programs. In 2011, Johnson & Johnson became the first private sector partner to support the H4+.
While global mortality has been reduced by
one-third in the past 20 years, approximately
1,000 women die from pregnancy complications and childbirth, most of them in
sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
“We are happy to have Johnson & Johnson as the first private sector organization coming forward as a true partner on this initiative,” says Dr. Osotimehin. “I believe that with support from Johnson & Johnson, we can make an even bigger difference on the ground and save more lives.”
BUILDING ON A LEGACY OF CARING
“The partnership with the H4+ is one component of our response to the United Nations Secretary General's call to action for a renewed global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” says Joy Marini, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson. “Our efforts are in keeping with our long-standing commitment to the health and well-being of mothers and children.”
While global maternal mortality has been reduced by one-third in the past 20 years, H4+ members report that every day, approximately 1,000 women die from pregnancy complications and childbirth—most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. For every woman who dies, around 20 more are seriously injured or suffer disabilities. And every day, about 10,000 newborns die within their first 28 days of life.
Most of these deaths can be prevented. Factors including poor health infrastructure and a lack of qualified health workers can mean the most basic and natural act of giving life instead becomes a cause of death—a time of hope for the future instead becomes a time of family crisis and despair.
Ethiopia and Tanzania are areas where the risk to mothers and newborns is high, and the governments' commitments to improving maternal-child health are strong. H4+ and Johnson & Johnson are providing training programs in these areas for health care workers so critical care can reach mothers and newborns.