Taking the long view: Joining forces to fight the Big Three

Ian MatthewsNews

The year 2020 represents the launch of the second phase of the Takeda Initiative, representing a 15-year partnership with the Global Fund, which focuses on improving maternal and child health by integrating quality HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria services in antenatal and postnatal care in priority countries in Africa. The partnership’s first phase, launched in 2010, boosted malaria prevention in Tanzania with the distribution of mosquito nets, accelerated access to TB treatment in Kenya, and expanded HIV services and awareness in Nigeria.

Long-term partnerships are a hallmark of Takeda’s Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program and Partnerships, which have helped save millions of lives. Indeed, since 2010, 980,000 lives have been saved through the Global Fund programs supported by Takeda, including the Takeda Initiative’s HIV program in Nigeria, TB program in Kenya, and malaria program in Tanzania.

Habiba Suleiman, 29, a district malaria surveillance officer in Zanzibar, naps with her little girl Rahma under a mosquito net. [Credit: Morgana Wingard, USAID]

“It means a lot to us that the Takeda Initiative represents the Global Fund’s longest corporate partnership to date,” said Takako Ohyabu, Takeda’s Chief Global Corporate Affairs Officer, “We know that there are no quick fixes to entrenched global health challenges and that lasting, sustainable impact takes time.” Takeda’s Global CSR strives to build a better world with accessible health care for all, where prevention measures are exponentially advanced, health systems are strong and prepared for unexpected events, and people everywhere are freed from the burden of disease.

The Takeda Initiative’s comprehensive, integrated approach is emblematic of the company’s CSR methodology to support global health. Today, with COVID-19 compounding risks and disrupting services across the globe, integrated global health services and support are particularly vital.

In May, Takeda announced its support for three UN-led organizations to strengthen health systems, improve access to care and supplies, and address food insecurity. By working together with other vital efforts led by the Global Fund, these partnerships will help support vulnerable communities, many of which are in even greater need during the global pandemic, while continuing to move the needle on HIV, TB and malaria. 

For example, Takeda’s recent contribution to the Global Fund’s strategic partner, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ensures continued delivery of life-saving health services to women and newborns, prioritizing regions and maternity units with the highest vulnerability to ensure that frontline health care workers, most of whom are women, have access to essential medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE).

Because this service quality and continuity is not possible without appropriate equipment and supplies, Takeda partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) and provided financial support to enhance health systems’ ability to respond to health shocks by improving existing in-country supply chains. Support also helped establish end-to-end monitoring of humanitarian cargo movements in support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other humanitarian partners during the COVID-19 response.

Takeda’s recognition of the value of a ‘combined arms’ approach to global health support, where each organization deploys a unique set of complementary forces to amplify one another’s impact, is a major part of the reason for joining the Global Fund’s Private Sector Constituency (PSC). As a part of this partnership, Takeda is also involved in the PSC Supply Chain Taskforce and PSC Strategy workstream.

“As a global values-based, R&D driven biopharmaceutical company we offer a lot of diverse skills and expertise across both scientific and business disciplines, and we want to contribute more than just funding to the Global Fund and its partners. Doing so enables us to live up to our promise of delivering Better Health to people and a Brighter Future to the world,” says Ms. Ohyabu, “We are all working toward the finish line: ending these epidemics. In global health, that’s not possible without joining forces.”

Ian MatthewsTaking the long view: Joining forces to fight the Big Three