A UNICEF corporate partner since 2017
Funding innovative programmes that improve the lives of mothers and children.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited has supported UNICEF since 2017 by funding three innovative, multi-country programmes that are improving the lives of millions of mothers and their children.
Under the new partnership, 'Investment in Innovation and Frontier Technology', Takeda and UNICEF are to invest in 25 health-focused or drone-related start-ups to develop, realize and scale cutting-edge solutions for children, and to scale artificial intelligence-based epidemiological modeling in three countries. Takeda is supporting the programme with 1 billion Japanese yen, or around US$9.1 million, for 2019–2024.
In Angola, Guinea and Togo, Takeda also supports health systems strengthening programmes that target an estimated 8.5 million people, including 1.6 million children under the age of five, and 424,000 pregnant women. The programme improves health data and information systems, strengthens procurement and supply chain management, and develops human capacity in health system governance. Takeda funds the programme with 500 million Japanese yen, or around US$4.5 million, for 2018–2023.
In Benin, Rwanda and Madagascar, Takeda funds The First 1,000 days of Life health and nutrition initiative with 1 billion Japanese yen, or around US$9.1 million, which will support 1.3 million mothers and children over a five-year period (2017–22).
Investing in innovation and frontier technology for better health
Takeda and UNICEF are accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in health and well-being through innovative use of frontier technology, such as artificial intelligence, drones and blockchain. UNICEF’s Venture Fund, established in 2014, supports local start-ups in developing countries to create products that help improve the lives of children. Takeda supports the Venture Fund to allow UNICEF to assess, invest and grow open-source technology solutions that show potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children.
Open-source and publicly available digital items such as applications, data, algorithms, platforms and protocols – so-called Digital Public Goods (DPGs) – can be valuable in ensuring a healthier and better future for all. There is a need to increase the number and usability of health-related DPGs to ensure that the potential of digital technologies is fully harnessed. Connecting real-time data to humanitarian response tools is a challenging task.
Magic Box is a DPG using artificial intelligence, big data and real-time data from both public sources and private sector partners to predict how and where communicable and vector-borne diseases spread, and to stop outbreaks before they become epidemics.
Takeda becomes the first Japan-based global corporate investor in the UNICEF Venture Fund, and is the first-ever corporate investor within Venture Fund to support drones and health-related DPGs.
Health systems strengthening towards universal health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa
To achieve universal health coverage, national health systems in sub-Saharan Africa will require a shift from aid-dependency to sustainable self-sufficiency, based on government commitment and the design and financing of a solid health system through health systems strengthening (HSS).
HSS is one of three focus areas in UNICEF’s Strategy for Health, 2016-2030, alongside addressing inequalities in health outcomes and promoting integrated, multi-sectoral programmes and policies.
Takeda has committed 500 million Japanese yen, or around US$4.5 million, for HSS in Angola, Guinea and Togo.
Over a five-year period between 2018–2023, programmes are to improve health data and information systems, strengthen procurement and supply chain management, and build capacity of human resources in health system governance.
Takeda and UNICEF aim to help protect the lives of an estimated 8.5 million people, including 1.6 million children under five and 424,000 pregnant women.
The First 1,000 Days: Health and nutrition programmes in Benin, Madagascar and Rwanda
Despite the recent progress in reducing under-five mortality globally, the pace of reduction in neonatal deaths and stunting (chronic malnutrition) is very slow, presenting a major threat to children’s lives.
In the first 1,000 days of life, a child’s brain can form 1,000 neural connections every second. These connections are the building blocks of a child’s future health, growth and development. Poor nutrition during this period can have irreversible consequences.
Children who are malnourished are more susceptible to sickness, are smaller than their non-stunted peers and have limited cognitive capacity. It is crucial that proper nutrition is addressed early on to bring all the benefits for a child.
Takeda is supporting The First 1,000 Days programmes in Benin, Madagascar and Rwanda with 1 billion Japanese yen, or around US$9.1 million.
Programme activities are strengthening the capacity and number of community health workers, improving access to health services in remote areas, supporting pregnant women and newborns, improving nutrition among pregnant women and infants, and raising awareness about the importance of nutrition. The programme will contribute to the health and well-being of approximately 1.3 million mothers and babies.
The approach considers the health of the mother before and during pregnancy and in the first 1,000 days of a newborn's life. Throughout, adequate health care and good hygiene and sanitation are vital. Poor sanitation and thus repeated bouts of diarrhoea contribute to stunting.
About Takeda’s Corporate Social Responsibilities activities
Read more about Takeda's CSR work on the company's webpage and in its Sustainable Value Report.
- Investment in Innovation and Frontier Technology
- Health Systems Strengthening
- `The First 1,000 Days´
Last updated 23 July 2019