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At Nairobi Summit, Johnson & Johnson Reaffirms Commitment to Advancing Global Health Priorities for Women, Children and Adolescents

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Johnson & Johnson has a long history of championing the health and empowerment of women and girls. To reaffirm this commitment, Johnson & Johnson recently participated in the Nairobi summit. Convened by UNFPA and the governments of Kenya and Denmark, the summit marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which placed sexual and reproductive health and rights at the heart of development. In Nairobi, Johnson & Johnson pledged its support for achieving “three zeros”—zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls—by 2030, the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The newly created Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation further reinforces this commitment. The Center focuses on closing the frontline health worker coverage gap and building a thriving health workforce of nurses, midwives and community health workers. These heroes are often the first point of contact for women and girls to the health system, and they are crucial to achieving the goals of ICPD and the global health priorities of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Center’s mission builds upon decades of working with partners to support and champion health workers, including several programs implemented with UNFPA around the world to empower women and girls and safeguard their health.

Campaign to End Fistula: In 2003, Johnson & Johnson joined forces with UNFPA to launch the Campaign to End Fistula, a debilitating childbirth injury caused by prolonged, obstructed labor that, when left untreated, can render a woman incontinent and often socially isolated. Johnson & Johnson partnered with UNFPA in Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Liberia and Uganda to expand capacity for fistula prevention and treatment and provide additional access to these services. By training health workers and increasing vulnerable women’s access to skilled care at birth, Johnson & Johnson supports the campaign in its goal to make this preventable injury as rare in the developing world as it is in industrialized countries today.

United Nations H6 Alliance: In 2010, Johnson & Johnson was the first private sector company to join six UN agencies on the H6 Alliance (formerly H4+) to advance Every Woman Every Child priorities alongside country governments. Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing commitment has helped train skilled birth attendants in comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care in Ethiopia and Tanzania, filling a serious gap in the health workforce in both countries. More than 58 teams in 41 hospitals in Ethiopia, including 30% of the country’s obstetric surgeons, were trained to manage labor and delivery complications and perform cesarean sections when needed. In Tanzania, H6 provided hospital-based training for 85 health workers and implemented e-learning modules in rural settings. As a result, close to 1,000 trained and skilled birth attendants in districts across mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar are now providing lifesaving maternal and newborn health services.

Currently, Johnson & Johnson supports H6 efforts to align and integrate Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality and Every Newborn Action Plan in the national plans of 10 countries that have made commitments toward Every Woman Every Child. This global initiative provides support in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were established to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

Safe Birth Even Here: In 2016, when Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti and the Ebola crisis in Liberia devastated already fragile health systems, increasing maternal and infant deaths, Johnson & Johnson partnered with UNFPA to launch the Safe Birth Even Here campaign. This initiative helps ensure that women have what they need to deliver their babies safely, even in humanitarian crises and fragile situations. Currently, the nearly five-year partnership (2016-2020) aims to reduce maternal and newborn deaths through strengthening the last-mile delivery of maternal and newborn health services, including emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) for 234,000 women, girls and newborns in Liberia, Haiti and Pakistan. As of 2018, almost 500 midwives received EmONC training, and more than 65,000 women and girls received health services from this project.

Improving Professional Midwifery: In Mexico, maternal deaths are not uncommon in medical centers, many of which are oversaturated and lack resources. In 2017, Johnson & Johnson partnered with UNFPA to strengthen training for professional midwifery at the primary care level, where births presenting no complications can be addressed. This two-year partnership strengthened midwifery training in 11 professional midwifery schools by providing training for 235 teachers and scholarships for 24 students, as well as improving infrastructure and providing technical support.

In these and in many other ways, Johnson & Johnson has been on the forefront of investing in and advocating for women and children. Through these programs, Johnson & Johnson has laid a strong foundation for measurable impact in advancing the United Nations’ global strategy for maternal, newborn and child health and achieving SDG3 (good health and well-being) and SDG5 (gender equality).

Additional Resources
Improving Maternal and Newborn Survival: Our ENAP Commitment
Johnson & Johnson Every Woman Every Child Commitment Progress
Ending Fistula, a Debilitating Childbirth Injury
Bangladesh: Saving Rohingya Mothers and Their Babies