Malawi former president and Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation International, Joyce Banda, on Tuesday, December 9, 2014,held a high-level consultative meeting with SABIN senior management at their Headquarters in New York. SABIN is a United States based organization that is dedicated to ending Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
NTDs are a group of chronic disabling infections affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide, mainly in Africa and mostly those living in remote rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones. Beyond their negative impact on health, NTDs contribute to an ongoing cycle of poverty and stigma that leaves people unable to work, go to school or participate in family and community life.
Banda is a renowned philanthropist. In 1997, she founded the Joyce Banda Foundation with the core objective of assisting the marginalized of the society, especially women and children, to have access to opportunities that would help them achieve their full potential in life.
Her foundation recently unveiled five ‘cornerstones’ under the new Joyce Banda Foundation International (JBFI) Africa Initiative. The cornerstones include Women in Business; Women in Education; Women Health; Women in Leadership; and Rights for Women.
Under ‘Women Health’, JBFI believes that good health is critical to women, and that women who are in good health contribute positively to national development.
The foundation ensures that women remain health through its initiatives on maternal health education, HIV/AIDS and other programmes so that fewer women die from the HIV/AIDS scourge, during child bearing and other avoidable and curable diseases.
Under some of its objectives, SABIN hosts international events, expert panels and immunization financing programmes to bring together policymakers, researchers, industry representatives, public health officials, health care professionals, and others to share the latest research on diseases and vaccine development, discuss strategies for reducing global disease burdens, and develop and implement sustainable vaccination programs.
They work with public health partners and governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America to integrate the distribution of NTD drugs with other interventions, such as immunizations, delivery of micronutrients, bed-net distribution, and maternal and child health programmes.
They also work to increase funding at a macro-level and engage potential partners and donors to leverage work underway to bring NTD programs to scale, produce evidence of sustainable impact, and change the landscape of poverty forever.