9 January 2013

Africa: GBChealth Announces Three Year Collaboration With MDG Health Alliance

press release

GBCHealth announced today that it is undertaking a three year collaboration with the MDG Health Alliance to focus on the attainment of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which come due on December 31, 2015. The MDGs are eight goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to achieve by the year 2015, half of which focus on health. As part of this collaboration, GBCHealth will more tightly align and focus its staffing, funding, company commitments, advocacy, communications, forums and events in a manner that is substantially linked to achievement of the health-related MDGs (Goals 4, 5, and 6 include HIV, TB, malaria, child and maternal health).

GBCHealth also announced that Ray Chambers will join the GBCHealth Board of Directors as Co-Chair, alongside Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank plc. Mr. Chambers is a philanthropist and humanitarian, and a longtime friend and supporter of GBCHealth. He is the Chairman of the MDG Health Alliance and serves as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy for Malaria and as a UN MDG Advocate, where he has responsibility for the health sector.

"GBCHealth is delighted to welcome Ray Chambers to the Board of Directors," says Co-Chair Aig-Imoukhuede. "Ray brings years of visionary leadership in both business and global health, along with a singular talent for securing commitment and collaboration from key players in all sectors of society."

The MDG Health Alliance was formed in early 2012 under the convening of Mr. Chambers, in his capacity as a UN MDG Advocate. The Alliance is comprised of eminent leaders from the business community, working in close conjunction with the public and non-profit sectors as part of the United Nations Every Woman Every Child Movement, with the singular purpose of helping to achieve the December 2015 MDG targets.

"This collaboration with the MDG Health Alliance is a natural and logical next step for GBCHealth as we work to guide companies to do their best work with the biggest impact across these next three crucial years," said GBCHealth's Executive Director Michael Schreiber. "Our member companies are already making a huge difference in health. The sharp vision and clear impact targets of the MDG Health Alliance provide a valuable framework for GBCHealth members, establishing linkages between their individual efforts on MDG-related health issues and the collective goals that are being pursued in partnership with global institutions and organizations."

The MDG Health Alliance, which made its formal US debut at the GBCHealth 2012 Conference last May, organizes its work into seven "pillars," each with defined targets to achieve by 2015. The pillars address child mortality, maternal health, reproductive health, malaria, transmission of HIV from mother to child, tuberculosis, and a cross-cutting focus on community health workers. Each pillar is led by a Chair, generally a business leader, who is responsible for ensuring forward progress, convening networks of new and traditional partners, raising awareness and resources, and advocating in favor of effective and efficient financing.

"I have been an enthusiastic supporter of GBCHealth since its founding by my friend, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. I know that we can only reach the ambitious global health goals before us with strong participation from the private sector," said Chambers. "GBCHealth member companies have already demonstrated leadership in global health and I look forward to their collaboration with staff and board members, as we work to achieve the health-related MDGs."

Formerly the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, GBCHealth is a coalition of more than 200 companies committed to addressing global health issues. Since its inception in 2001, GBCHealth's work has focused on health problems that the MDGs address and it also pursues broader health areas, such as diabetes and nutrition. The annual GBCHealth Conference in May 2013 will include rich programming on the business role in achieving the health-related MDGs.

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