Philips joins UN in saving women & children - CNBC Africa

Philips joins UN in saving women & children


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Philips joins UN in saving women & children. PHOTOS: Philips

“We look forward to working with the UN and its partners in Every Woman Every Child to deliver impact at scale in regions where women and children need it the most,” said Frans van Houten, chief executive officer of Philips.

“The goals of Every Woman Every Child are well aligned with Philips’ vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation and our ultimate goal of improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2025.”

(READ MORE: Tablet-sized ultrasound system to care for Africa's mothers)

Philips is a diversified technology company that focuses on brining innovation in the areas of healthcare, lifestyle and lightning.

According to the UN, an estimated eight million children die every year before reaching their fifth birthday while 350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth.

The UN therefore launched the Every Woman Every Child initiative with the aim of saving 16 million women and children by 2015 as well as reducing child mortality by two thirds and maternal mortality by 75 per cent through the use of inexpensive tools and practices.

“Every Woman Every Child is a global initiative that seeks to mobilise international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world,” said the UN in a statement.

Van Houten added that Philips support to the pledge will start by targeting sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia through a series of large scale healthcare transformation projects, clinical education and skills training for health workers.

(READ MORE: Simulation training crucial to S.African healthcare space)

To date, the Philips Africa Innovation Hub has already developed automated respiration monitors that support the diagnosis of pneumonia in children under five, solar lighting as well as telehealth and mobile-health solutions that provide early diagnosis and nutritional advice.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon said, “The private sector has become eager to increase its engagement, not just because there are business opportunities but because they see the value in ethical business and in helping to improve people’s lives.”