Amongst the key initiatives are the transformation of an antiseptic used in mouthwash into a life-saving product for new-borns and the roll-out of a powder-form of an antibiotic in child friendly doses to help fight pneumonia - one of the main killers of children under five.
“ A partnership of this scale gives us an opportunity to do something amazing – to save the lives of one million children and to transform the lives of millions more. ”
For the first time, Save the Children will be involved in helping GSK to research and develop medicines for children, with a seat on a new paediatric R&D board to accelerate progress on innovative life-saving interventions for under- fives, and to identify ways to ensure the widest possible access in the developing world.
GSK will be able to leverage Save the Children’s child health expertise and on-the- ground experience to reach children in the most remote and marginalised communities with basic healthcare.
The GSK-Save the Children partnership will also focus on widening vaccine coverage to the poorest children, increasing investment in health workers, as well as developing a low-cost nutritional product to help combat child malnutrition.
Flagship programmes will run initially in Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. These will be closely monitored and the evidence on how to save children’s lives at scale will be used to replicate programmes in other countries within Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.
While good progress has been made in recent years, almost seven million children died in 2011 through lack of access to basic healthcare, vaccines or nutritious food. Through these and other initiatives, the partnership aims to help save the lives of one million children in the next five years.
Justin Forsyth, the Chief Executive of Save the Children commented:
“This ground breaking partnership involves both organisations working in genuinely new ways to save the lives of a million children. In the past Save the Children may not have embarked on a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company like GSK. But we believe we can make huge gains for children if we harness the power of GSK's innovation, research and global reach."