TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Health giant Johnson & Johnson is donating about $200 million in cash and medicine to a sweeping United Nations program created to improve the health and lives of people in poor countries.
J&J is launching a five-year program called "Every Mother, Every Child," meant to help almost 400 million women and children in developing countries. The maker of No More Tears Baby Shampoo will donate its medicine for treating intestinal worms in children, send pregnant women messages on prenatal health on their cell phones, and work to make childbirth safer. J&J also will continue research on new treatments for the AIDS virus and tuberculosis, both of which disproportionately affect women and children in developing countries.
"It's a natural extension of our commitment to improve the health of mothers and children everywhere," Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon said in prepared remarks. "For several decades, we've worked in partnership with dozens of nonprofits and governments in every region of the world to help treat and prevent diseases that place mothers and children at risk."
The J&J effort addresses part of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. That's an ambitious international effort, begun in 2000, to bring everyone in the world basic needs and rights, from good health, shelter and education to equality between men and women.