ACCRA, Ghana– According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health in Ghana has consistently improved over the past few decades. Not only has life expectancy increased, but maternal and child death rates have also dropped. Nevertheless, malaria and a variety of non-communicable diseases still threaten the health of Ghanaians. Additionally, the health sector itself is suffering. The WHO reports a shortage of proficient healthcare providers and a healthcare quality disparity between rural and urban areas.
Despite these impediments, Ghana recently gained status as an emerging market economy. While exciting, the country’s new status comes with many challenges — challenges PYXERA Global wants to help Ghana overcome. PYXERA Global describes itself as a “global pro bono” company that provides professional guidance to clients looking to improve aspects of society. The firm also offers leadership expertise and helps participants gain an awareness of economic futures.
PYXERA Global has a number of active initiatives, but for Ghanaians, the Global Health Corporate Champions program is the most relevant. This past June, PYXERA Global gathered experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), PIMCO and the DOW Chemical Company to consult with global health NGOs working on the ground in Ghana and create the Global Health Corporate Champions project. Participating in this venture were the HealthKeepers Network, the Christian Health Association of Ghana and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health.
The Global Health Corporate Champions project is a micro private-public partnership supported by PYXERA Global and USAID’s Global Health Fellows Program II. Working tirelessly for one month, representatives of the project successfully helped the participating NGOs create promising business and communications strategies and pinpoint areas where the organization could develop.
The project tailored these business plans to combat the difficulties Ghana will face as an emerging market country. Low-income countries understandably receive more assistance dollars than countries with emerging markets. NGOs in Ghana, therefore, must re-evaluate their functional approaches to compensate for reduced aid. “I was shocked by the additional hurdles that non-profits face in an emerging market setting,” PIMCO’s content marketing manager, Austin Cazort said. “Most of the issues have to do with access — access to funding, the internet, roads, healthcare supplies and training.”
The Global Health Corporate Champions responded to Ghanaian NGOs’ need for business and leadership training to help them better deal with these obstacles. Through the program, the NGOs in Ghana have gained skills they need to effectively deliver healthcare to Ghanaians in need.
Next year, the Global Health Corporate Champions hope to change the landscape of health in Ethiopia.
– Kristina Evans