GBCHealth Announces Winner of the 2016 Women & Girls Business Action on Health Award

Award Recognizes Business Leadership in Improving the Health and Well-Being of Women and Girls

May 17, 2016 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Today, GBCHealth announced Johnson & Johnson as the winner of the 2016 Women and Girls Business Action on Health Award for the company’s innovative partnerships to prevent and treat obstetric fistula. Alongside Johnson & Johnson, BASF, MSD and Philips were also honored at the Award’s event featured during the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

For more than a decade, GBCHealth has honored companies that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to improving global health through the implementation of high-impact, evidence-based health programs. Winners are determined through a rigorous evaluation process led by an internationally-respected external panel of judges—comprised of experts from across government, multilateral, NGO, academia and business sectors.

“We received a record number of applications for a single award category. It is exciting to see the depth and breadth of corporate programs being implemented in over 35 countries, targeting millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls,” said Nancy Wildfeir-Field, President of GBCHealth. “We’re proud to recognize each of these companies, and particularly, Johnson & Johnson, for working tirelessly to empower women and girls with access to quality health and wellness products and services.”

The Winning Program

Johnson & Johnson A Private-Sector Pioneer in Fostering Innovative Partnerships to Prevent and Treat Obstetric Fistula

For more than 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has been working with partners to support and expand programs to prevent and treat obstetric fistula, a traumatic childbirth injury caused by prolonged, obstructed labor.

70% of the more than 2 million cases worldwide remain untreated. Women suffering from the condition are frequently forced from their homes, ostracized by their communities and robbed of economic opportunities that enable them to support themselves and afford the care they so desperately need.

Johnson & Johnson has taken a holistic approach to fistula care, working with trusted partners including UNFPA, Mercy Ships, the Fistula Foundation, FIGO and Kupona to prevent fistula, as well as treat and care for those who suffer. In addition to donating surgical supplies, Johnson & Johnson focuses on training health workers, thereby increasing vulnerable women’s access to skilled care at birth, as well as their ability to access safe surgery. The Company also supports women as they rehabilitate following surgery, providing counseling and training to build skills as they reintegrate into their communities.

This model has proven to be tremendously impactful. One example of this can be seen in the results of a survey of former fistula patients at a partner hospital in Tanzania, which provides this holistic package of services. It showed that 97% of women feel more accepted and supported by their community compared with before fistula surgery, and 62% of women are able to provide more financial support to themselves and their families compared to before fistula surgery.

While this is the story of one hospital, many former fistula patients who have benefited from programs report feeling more accepted and supported by their communities, and more able to provide more financial support to themselves and their families compared to before fistula surgery. Through these innovative partnerships, Johnson & Johnson is working to rectify the inequities that lead to fistula, and ensure that all women can live the healthy lives they deserve.

“Obstetric fistula is a complex issue which needs a range of interventions, including prevention, treatment and rehabilitation,” said Lauren Moore, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson. “We are humbled by this recognition, and thank the partners who have been at our side for more than two decades as we’ve worked to prevent fistula, and to treat women suffering from this debilitating condition.”


Commended Programs

Commended: BASF – The Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women program, driven by the power of collaborative public-private partnerships under the company’s Food-Fortification Initiative, creates and promotes a sustainable supply of fortified foods to women and girls of reproductive age at risk of micronutrient deficiencies.

Commended: MSD – Determined to scale-up high-impact, high-need interventions that improve maternal health, MSD for Mothers focuses its investments in two areas proven to have the greatest impact on ending preventable maternal death: improving the quality of care women receive at a health facility at the time of childbirth – a triple return on investment by reducing not only maternal deaths but also stillbirths and newborn deaths – and improving access to high-quality modern contraceptives, which can potentially prevent up to one-third of all maternal deaths.

Commended: Philips – Mobile Obstetrics Monitoring (MOM) is a telehealth service enabling health workers in community- or primary-care settings to deliver improved antenatal care by identifying pregnant women’s risk profiles, diagnosing health issues such as anemia, and monitoring of patients’ progress through easy access to comprehensive health records. Read Philips’ release here.

GBCHealth will be accepting applications for three additional categories of the 2016 Business Action on Health Award: Workforce/Workplace Engagement, Partnerships: Collective Action for Public Health, and Community Programs: Investing in Global Health Security. Visit GBCHealth’s website for more information and apply today.


About GBCHealth

GBCHealth is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 companies internationally to drive collective action in areas of greatest need. For more information, visit

About the Award:

For more than a decade, GBCHealth has recognized companies with exemplary achievements in health with the Business Action on Health Awards.  As part of our Every Women Every Child commitment, GBCHealth introduced a new award category in 2016, Women and Girls, to recognize companies that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and girls, through the implementation of a high-impact, evidence-based health program. Winners were determined through a rigorous evaluation process by an internationally respected external panel of judges—comprised of experts from government, multilateral organizations, NGOs, academia and business sectors. The wealth of experience and insight of our judges ensures GBCHealth is bestowing the Business Action on Health Award to the company that has made the most meaningful impact in driving improvements to health and wellness of women and girls. Visit GBCHealth’s website for more information.


Communications Contact
Nisa Patel
Program Officer

Nisa PatelGBCHealth Announces Winner of the 2016 Women & Girls Business Action on Health Award