Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As the New Year gets underway, we are grateful for the immense support and dedication our partners have shown us over the last year.
Together, as a global health community, we made significant progress in 2017 – renewing commitments to TB and intensifying efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance.
2017 also brought changes in global leadership at the UN, WHO, UNFPA and the Global Fund. We are encouraged by the early actions of these leaders including Antonio Guterres, Dr. Tedros Adhanom and Dr. Natalia Kanem and their expressed desire for business to intensify engagement in health. GBCHealth will work with these leaders to ensure business continues to have opportunities to bring their diverse assets to the table to inspire progress.
We are particularly heartened by the recent election of Peter Sands to fill the Executive Director role at the Global Fund. As an early board member of GBCHealth, Mr. Sands’ leadership in the global fight against HIV/AIDS while at Standard Charter was exemplary, while his commitment to supporting the Global Fund is longstanding. We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Sands through our focal point role with the private sector constituency at the Global Fund.
An ever-changing global health landscape will require us all to remain steadfast in our commitment to tackle challenges swiftly, whether they come in the form of unexpected outbreaks, conflicts or unprecedented budget cuts. As we advance towards milestones on Universal Health Coverage, elimination of preventable diseases and reduction of antimicrobial resistance, the private sector will have opportunities to shape priorities and lead the charge. We are confident that business will contribute both skills and resources to stem the resurgence of malaria and HIV among other key issues.
In 2018, Africa is poised to lead the agenda, with the tremendous opportunity afforded by the continent’s changing demographics and burgeoning business community. Harnessing this youth potential into a positive force for development through smart investments in health, empowerment, education and employment is the greatest challenge of the next 15 years.
In this context, we are working in partnership with the Aliko Dangote Foundation to build an African-led coalition of companies and philanthropists to commit to improving the health and wellbeing of Africans. Beginning this year the coalition, called ABCHealth, will work with companies of all sizes, from SMEs to large multinationals, to maximize the impact of workplace and community health programs.
The sheer scale of Africa’s growing youth population requires investments in certain areas – especially reproductive health, adolescent education, and empowerment and training of women and girls – and will be vital to transforming the continent. In 2018, UNFPA and GBCHealth will build a platform to enable individual companies to partner with governments to develop sustainable solutions in these critical development areas.
At the same time, CAMA will continue to motivate companies to turn ideas into action in service of improved malaria outcomes for employees and communities in Nigeria and increasingly across Africa.
We are excited by the potential of these programs and the momentum we are carrying into January. While each year presents its own unique challenges, we look forward to success and growth as we work alongside each of our partners towards achieving our common goals.