NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) today announced important progress made in the inaugural year of the Company's comprehensive effort designed to improve the health of as many as 120 million women and children each year in developing countries by 2015.
Since its launch last September, Johnson & Johnson has laid a strong foundation for measurable impact in several areas toward Every Woman, Every Child, the United Nations' Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health to reduce mortality in women and children by 2015, including: expanding health information for mothers over mobile phones, helping to increase the number of safe births, doubling donations of treatments for intestinal worms in children, helping to ensure that no child is born with HIV, and furthering research and development of new medicines for HIV and tuberculosis (TB).
"Our results should be measured in terms of lives saved over the five years of our commitment, not just in terms of effort or dollars contributed," said Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon. "We responded to the Secretary General's call for action because we aim to make a real and lasting difference for women and children in some of the most challenging areas of the world. This is the goal to which we are holding ourselves accountable."
First Year Sees Major Expansion of Partnerships, Disease Prevention Efforts
In the first year of this work, Johnson & Johnson created new alliances while strengthening existing ones with many organizations, including non-governmental and community groups, governments, academia and multilateral groups to scale-up proven health interventions. Johnson & Johnson expects to positively affect the lives of millions of women and children through this effort.
"Every Woman, Every Child has shown what can be achieved through close cooperation between the UN, governments, and the private sector," said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. "A great deal has been achieved in the last year. Visionary leaders recognize the value of investing in the health of women and children."
Johnson & Johnson's accomplishments in the first year of this effort include:
- Mobile Alliance For Maternal Action (MAMA) – This initiative using mobile phones to deliver prenatal and post-birth health information to 15 million new and expectant mothers in the developing world through 2015 was launched with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and BabyCenter, the mHealth Alliance, and the United Nations Foundation. Women will receive free mobile phone messages on prenatal health, safe delivery and immunization reminders through the program. Over the next three years, the program is planned to reach Bangladesh, South Africa and India, with future extensions planned to China, Mexico and Nigeria.
- Helping Babies Breathe (HBB): A new safe births initiative strengthening training programs to help babies breathe at birth is expected to save the lives of thousands of babies in Uganda and Malawi. This effort is being implemented in collaboration with Save the Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and USAID, and builds upon the Company's experience since 2004 to support training for more than 150,000 healthcare workers in China, South Africa and Vietnam in preventing birth asphyxia, a life-threatening condition in infants caused by an inability to breathe at birth. In China alone, this neonatal resuscitation program has trained more than 120,000 health workers, saved 90,000 newborns' lives and is projected to save more than 175,000 more babies from premature and preventable deaths in the next 5 years.
- Health 4+ Partnership: Johnson & Johnson became the first private sector organization to support the United Nations' Health 4+, the joint action platform established by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to coordinate implementation of the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health at the country level. The Company is now working to support pilot training programs for healthcare workers in Tanzania and Ethiopia which will provide critical prenatal and obstetric care for mothers and newborns.
- One Million Health Workers Challenge: Training and support for front-line health workers, including skilled birth attendants, in the developing world will be critical to improving the health of mothers and children while preventing disease. As a Company with extensive expertise in building healthcare capacity, particularly around labor and delivery, Johnson & Johnson has committed to advocate for and support the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and the U.S. Government's Global Health Initiative's new partnership between the public and private sectors to meet the challenge of educating one million health workers in resource-poor countries.
- Children Without Worms: Johnson & Johnson more than doubled its donation of mebendazole, a treatment for intestinal worms in children, through its Children Without Worms program, up from 36 million doses in 2010 to 80 million doses by the end of 2011. The Company plans to continue to expand this program to distribute 200 million doses each year in 30 to 40 countries by 2015.
- Eliminating Mother to Child Transmission of HIV: Since 2003, Johnson & Johnson has implemented programs that help eliminate transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their infants. J&J has pledged additional support over the next four years, as part of the new UN Global Plan to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission and help keep mothers alive.
- R&D Innovations: Johnson & Johnson continues to develop new treatments for HIV and TB and enhance access to these treatments for patients around the world. In May, Johnson & Johnson received U.S. FDA approval for a new HIV medicine, rilpivirine, for patients new to HIV treatment. Though not yet approved outside the U.S., the Company has signed five generic licensing agreements to speed affordable access to the medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, India and least developed countries (LDCs). The company also continues to research treatments in HIV and TB and new technologies to prevent HIV transmission.
Maximizing the health impact of these programs is critical and requires new ways of thinking to measure and report health outcomes. Johnson & Johnson is working to help its partner organizations expand the capacity to measure tangible improvements in the lives of women and children. Impact measurement and reporting standards are being established for each program target to enhance accountability and transparency.
"We want to understand more than just the numbers of women and children that we reach," said Sharon D'Agostino, Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson. "We're establishing accountability measures to understand the overall impact our programs make in improving health outcomes. We recognize the promises made and the firm deadlines we've set through 2015. We take these commitments very seriously."
New Partnerships Support Global Effort to Prevent Chronic Disease
Beyond our enduring commitment to women's and children's health, Johnson & Johnson is building alliances in prevention, aligning with the United Nations Secretary General's call-to-action to address the major causes of chronic, non-communicable diseases globally. The Company will announce new efforts to combat smoking and tobacco use via mobile phones and workplace interventions.
- QuitNowTXT: As part of a new multi-sector partnership led by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Johnson & Johnson will help to bring QuitNowTXT – an interactive text-based intervention for adult smokers that offers motivation, encouragement and smoking facts developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health – beyond the United States. The new initiative also includes the United Nations Foundation, George Washington University's Center for Global Health, the World Medical Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
- Smoke-free Workplaces: Tomorrow, Johnson & Johnson and other organizations will formally announce a new multi-sector, Clinton Global Initiative commitment that will encourage employers worldwide to expand the availability of smoke-free workplaces for employees.
Since 2000, Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies have provided nearly $5 billion in grants, product donations and patient assistance that have touched the lives of men, women and children throughout the world.
For additional information about Johnson & Johnson's commitments to addressing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), please visit www.jnj.com/MDG2011.
About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science -- bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our 116,000 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.
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