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Role of the Poor

Millenium Development Goals





"About Health – Let’s show we mean business” (London, 30 March 2009)

A multi-stakeholder event on health-related MDGs co-hosted by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and the GAVI Alliance, with support from UNDP and other organizations

This conference brought together 80 leading experts from governments, business and civil society organizations who gathered to share their expertise and recommendations on how to improve access to affordable healthcare. The aim of the conference was to discuss ways in which corporations can work alongside civil society and governments in tackling global health issues, and looking at challenges and opportunities for business involvement through core business activities.

The meeting was chaired by Adam Leach, CEO of IBLF, and opened with a keynote speech by the UK Secretary of State for International Development, The Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, followed by four interventions from high-level participants experienced in business, health and partnership. These areas were represented by Dame Graça Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development, former First Lady and Minister of Education in Mozambique; Jane Nelson, Harvard University and Co-Chair of the UNDP Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative; Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Founder of Celtel International as well as Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; and Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, CEO of the GAVI Alliance.

The afternoon comprised four parallel sessions/roundtables on the following topics:

  • Bringing New Health Technologies to Women
  • Managing Malaria: Can Business Skills Support the Success Story
  • Highly Effective Partnerships for Improved Nutrition
  • Technology Based Solutions to Strengthen Global Health Decision Making

Three of these roundtables featured GIM case studies, namely:

  • VidaGás (Mozambique): “Delivering Health through a Sustainable Social Enterprise”, presented by GIM case writer Courtenay Sprague, Senior Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Danone (Poland): “Affordable Milk Porridge for Low-Income Families”, presented by Przemek Pohrybieniuk, Director of External Relations, Danone Poland
  • Pésinet (Mali): “A Healthcare Initiative for the Reduction of Infant Mortality”, presented by Anne Roos-Weil, Co-Founder and Treasurer, Pesinet

The presentations were followed by a facilitated discussion, which looked at challenges and opportunities for business involvement through core business activities. Each session reported back to the plenary, after which Dr. Alan Gillespie, Board Chair of the International Finance Facility for Immunization gave his closing remarks before Jane Nelson and Dr Julian Lob-Levyt provided the audience with their thoughts and conclusions on the day.