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Save the Children and GSK have a five-year strategic global partnership combining their expertise, resources and influence to help save the lives of one million of the poorest children in the world. This unique collaboration brings together two organizations working to tackle some of the leading causes of child mortality.
In the United States, GSK supports emergency preparedness efforts to build healthier and more resilient communities. With generous support from GSK, and in collaboration with Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Save the Children is working to develop a model for child-focused disaster planning for U.S. communities, to protect children -- one of our most vulnerable populations -- during natural or man-made disaster
In the United States, The Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative is developing two pilot programs – one in Washington County, Arkansas, and one in Putnam County, New York, – and guiding participating communities through a crisis simulation to help them develop a sustainable, child-focused action plan. The project’s formation of a National Children's Resiliency Leadership Board will help connect learnings to key policies and programs that can improve preparedness systems for children nationally.
Globally, GSK is working with Save the Children to mobilize the resources and expertise of our organizations for emergency response and humanitarian efforts. This includes seed funding to help Save the Children establish emergency health units – teams of specialist health workers who are ready to deliver basic healthcare within 72 hours when any disaster strikes. A team from the first unit was deployed during the European refugee crisis. GSK and its employees have also contributed to Save the Children’s responses to disasters in Nepal, and to the ongoing Middle East and European refugee crises.
GSK also supports Save the Children’s global programs to develop child-friendly medicines to reduce child mortality and newborn deaths, widening vaccination coverage and increasing training of health workers in the poorest, hardest-to-reach communities. Our flagship country programs, initially launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, include these interventions and are now being monitored and evaluated to allow the partnership to scale up and tackle child mortality in other developing countries.
New Product Development
Developing child-friendly medicines to reduce child mortality and newborn deaths
Through our partnership, GSK and Save the Children are working together to accelerate the availability of lifesaving medicines designed especially for children. Save the Children is involved in helping GSK research and develop medicines for children under age 5 and is helping to identify ways to ensure the widest possible access to medicines in the developing world. GSK’s expertise combined with Save the Children's child-health expertise and on-the-ground experience is providing children with basic health care, even in the most remote and marginalized communities.
Products include the antiseptic chlorhexidine – commonly used in mouthwash – which is being reformulated into a gel for cleansing the umbilical cord stumps of newborn babies to prevent serious infection, a major cause of newborn death in poor countries.
Uniting a Global Workforce
GSK’s commitment to Save the Children includes encouraging the 110,000-strong GSK workforce to get involved with the partnership through fundraising activities. By October 2015, GSK employees had raised over $2.35 million for Save the Children, which will be matched by GSK.
Save the Children also benefits from PULSE, GSK’s skills-based volunteering program, through which GSK gives their greatest resource – people – to contribute real and lasting value to their partners and the communities they serve. Over 45 GSK employees have worked with Save the Children since 2013 at locations in Peru, the Philippines, Kenya and Columbia. One of GSK’s molecular virologists worked in Save the Children’s testing lab in Sierra Leone at the height of the Ebola crisis.