GSK forms partnership with three leading NGOs to address shortage of frontline healthcare workers in Least Developed Countries LDCs

- Agreements signed with AMREF, CARE International UK and Save the Children as part of commitment to reinvest 20% of profits in LDCs

Issued: London UK

  • Agreements signed with AMREF, CARE International UK and Save the Children as part of commitment to reinvest 20% of profits in LDCs

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced further progress on its commitment to reinvest 20% of profits made in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) back into projects that strengthen the healthcare infrastructure in those countries. GSK has formed a new partnership with three leading NGOs to deliver the reinvestments in LDCs: AMREF in East and Southern Africa, CARE International UK in Asia Pacific and Save the Children in West Africa. The shared objective of the investments will be to improve health outcomes by supporting frontline health workers who operate in these countries.

GSK currently supplies medicines to 37 of the 48 LDCs and 2010 profits available for reinvestment in 2011 amount to approximately £3.5m. The amount available for investment in each country will be proportional to the amount of profit generated there. As the profits vary from country to country, GSK has set a minimum investment of £10,000.

The chronic shortage of trained frontline health workers in LDCs is recognized as one of the most fundamental constraints to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Appropriately trained and adequately supported frontline health workers can improve access to basic health services in their communities, leading to improved health outcomes, especially for mothers and children. For example, in some settings, a fully trained and well-supported community health worker can effectively deliver treatments, and provide health education for common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and acute malnutrition, and reach up to 5,000 children in a year.

Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK said: “GSK is committed to playing its part in improving access to healthcare in all of the countries in which we operate. In 2010, we created a Developing Countries and Market Access operating unit dedicated to increasing patient access to GSK medicines and vaccines while expanding our presence and helping us to build a sustainable business in developing countries. Although the profits we make in LDCs are relatively small at this time, our commitment to reinvest 20% of them provides a sustainable model to help improve healthcare infrastructure – one of the key health challenges in these countries. We are pleased to partner with three respected NGOs – AMREF, CARE and Save the Children – to deliver solutions that can make a difference on the ground in the world’s poorest countries.”

Projects currently underway include expanding a group of nurse-run clinics in Rwanda to improve access to quality basic healthcare and essential medicines and a community health infrastructure project in Cambodia which is supporting the renovation of a clinical training centre for midwives to help reduce the number of women and infants who die during childbirth. These projects will be incorporated into the partnership and will continue as planned. As a result of today’s agreement, new projects will begin shortly in Rwanda, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Funding for future projects has also been authorised in Yemen, Niger, Sierra Leone, Angola, Zambia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia. The aim is that by 2012, a project will be underway in every profit-making LDC.

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children said: “It is a brave and bold move for a company like GSK to commit 20% of its profits back into the countries and communities where they were raised. We’re delighted this partnership will support our top priority of saving the lives of some of the poorest children in the poorest communities. Only by working to increase the number of health workers and ensure they are properly trained, supported, deployed and retained can health services reduce maternal and child mortality.  Without the doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers serving the poorest communities, their right to health will never be realised.”

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of CARE International UK said: “Our experience has shown that community health workers provide a life-saving link to rural, isolated families in developing countries. GSK’s commitment recognizes the need for long-term funding to address the shortage of these workers in some of the world’s poorest countries – together we can bring about lasting, life-saving change where it is needed the most.”

Belinda Coote, CEO of AMREF said:“Health workers are the backbone of an effective health system. Without them, the system fails, and investments in health will be wasted. Estimates suggest that Africa needs one million more health workers in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals for health, so we applaud GSK’s commitment to this key priority of AMREF’s work."

AMREF, CARE and Save the Children have expertise in accessing and supporting healthcare workers that operate in these challenging rural and marginalised communities. Each NGO will be responsible for establishing Health Infrastructure Partnerships through which the projects will be selected and funding channelled.  These partnerships will include representatives from local healthcare organisations, government officials and partner organisations.


Developing Countries and Market Access (DCMA) operating unit

  • GSK established the Developing Countries and Market Access (DCMA) operating unit in July 2010 to increase patient access to GSK medicines and vaccines while expanding its presence and helping it build a sustainable business in developing countries.
  • The DCMA unit aims to increase the availability of GSK medicines by broadening its portfolio to make it more relevant to people in these countries, pricing it to increase access and unlock demand, contributing to education and awareness, and expanding its distribution and supply chain capability.
  • Wherever possible, GSK works in partnership with other companies, governments, international agencies, academic institutions, patient groups, NGOs and communities, providing expertise, resources, medicines and vaccines to improve access to healthcare.

Nurse-run clinic network in Rwanda

  • In Rwanda, GSK is working in partnership with the Healthstore Foundation to expand a business format franchise of nurse-run clinics which aim to improve access to quality basic healthcare and essential medicines for rural or marginalized populations.
  • Owned by trained health workers who understand the needs of the communities they work in, the clinics focus on treating and preventing the most common killer diseases including malaria, respiratory infections, and dysentery among others. They also provide health education and prevention services to improve community health.
  • With GSK’s support, the aim is to grow the network from 3 to 60 nurse-run clinics by 2013.

Cambodia maternal and child survival initiative

  • GSK is working in partnership with the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) in Cambodia to support the building and renovation of clinical training centre for midwives in Banteay Meanchey Province.
  • The investment is being used to build practical clinics, classrooms and accommodation for midwives attending periodic training and skills development in this centre.
  • Cambodia has one of the highest rates of death among young children and mothers compared to the rest of the world – around one in every 200 women dies during childbirth and nearly one in ten children in Cambodia die before their fifth birthday. Increasing access to trained midwives aims to reduce the number of women and infants who die during childbirth.

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GlaxoSmithKline cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2010.