As a father and as CEO of a company advancing the latest innovations in science and health care, it is unthinkable to me that nearly three million newborns throughout the world die each year from mostly preventable conditions.
It’s unthinkable, but sadly it’s also true.
Knowing this fact, I feel an even deeper commitment to upholding our company’s long legacy of caring for the health of women and children and ensuring the health outcomes of individuals are not determined solely by where they are born.
This is an important week for maternal and child health as the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York City and global health advocates, country health ministers and thought leaders will gather to assess the progress toward achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
If you are unfamiliar with the MDGs, these are eight goals the U.N. established at the beginning of the new millennium to address the most critical, unmet needs of the most vulnerable populations with a deadline of fulfilling these goals by the end of 2015. Of these goals, three are related to health care and are the focus of our work:
- MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality
- MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
- MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Working with our partners, we are on track to meet our MDG commitment, having reached more than 200 million women and children since 2010 when we became one of the first private-sector companies to pledge our commitment to the health goals.