NOVARTIS SSA

Novartis SSA commits to reaching 40,000 workers, community members, and schoolgirls, including 20,000 women workers, in small- and medium-sized enterprises and surrounding communities with health education, products, and services on reproductive health and family planning in at least five countries in East, West, and Central Africa through its Healthy Family Program by 2023.

Novartis SSA commits to reaching 40,000 workers, community members, and schoolgirls, including 20,000 women workers, in small- and medium-sized enterprises and surrounding communities with health education, products, and services on reproductive health and family planning in at least five countries in East, West, and Central Africa through its Healthy Family Program by 2023. The overall program goals will be achieved by training and deploying Novartis’ 600 employees to work with private service providers as well as building the capacity of local community facilitators and community health volunteers to reach workers in tea, flower, coffee, fresh produce, and milk farmers and producers to sensitize their workers and members on health, and refer those who need medical treatment to the nearest government or faith-based health facilities. It will do similar outreach with local organized groups of youth, men, and women. The Healthy Family Program addresses health care needs at the bottom of the pyramid, intrinsically linked to women, who bear a higher burden. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty, which has a substantial impact on their health. The program strives to ensure the affordability and accessibility of treatment and services, including family planning.


As part of this commitment to women’s health and empowerment, Novartis will train 100 female employees in leadership skills who will then empower other women in the workplace and the community in leadership, business development, entrepreneurship, sustainable business, environmental protection, awareness in health, and hygiene management. Finally, the program will ensure 10,000 schoolgirls have access to sanitary napkins coupled with mentor and leadership training so that they remain in school.


Novartis expects to invest USD $300,000 in these activities over three years. This commitment follows the company’s decision in 2019 to bring all divisions in Sub-Saharan Africa under one roof as Novartis SSA, and name a woman executive, Racey Muchilwa, to lead it. The company’s goal is to have a 50-50 gender balance by 2023.


“Our overall ambition is to reach as many workers in various partner companies’ workplaces and communities as possible to improve people’s lives through access to health education and affordable products. Women are at the heart of it all, as an integral part of our communities. When you educate a woman, you educate the entire village. Women's all-round development – their reproductive health, safety and mental wellness – isa top priority for us.” -  Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis, Sub-Saharan Africa.