GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Barclays have formed a new partnership which aims to increase access to affordable healthcare and medicines for people in Zambia, while helping to create improved economic conditions for growth, according to GlaxoSmithKline plc.
GSK and Barclays are combining their skills and expertise to help remove financial barriers to healthcare access, while supporting small business development and job creation.
The partnership aims to create a model that can be scaled across Africa to help more people access affordable healthcare.
Despite substantial economic growth in Africa over the last few decades, access to affordable healthcare remains one of the greatest challenges to sustained economic development. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 11% of the world’s population, yet bears 24% of the global disease burden and commands less than 1% of global health expenditure. It also faces a severe shortage of trained medical personnel, with just 3% of the world’s health workers deployed in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to GlaxoSmithKline plc.
GSK and Barclays will together invest up to £7m over 3 years, comprising financial support and on the ground resource, with the ambitious goal to reach 1 million out of the total population of 14 million people living in Zambia, by 2016, according to GlaxoSmithKline plc. Working in partnership with government and other stakeholders, the programme will explore how to: help build a cost effective private sector medicine supply chain; establish small enterprise health outlets; test an affordable micro health insurance product; and embed healthcare education in existing community finance networks.
This month, a dedicated team has been mobilised on the ground in Lusaka, and is working with a range of organisations to implement the programme in Zambia.
“Though prospects for growth are improving, Zambia still experiences significant healthcare challenges. By combining our specific resources and skills with those of Barclays, we can help unblock financial barriers and enhance government efforts to help increase access to affordable healthcare. Good health is vital for people to live more productive lives, which in turn will help to create the right conditions for Zambia’s economic development and lead to a more prosperous society,” Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK said.