The Role of Private Sector Partnerships in Global Health – Experiences from the German Health Alliance

17. November 2022 I  Neues aus dem Hub  I von : Sabrina Rupprecht

At the Hub Community Meeting “Partnerships for Global Health” on 27 October 2022, Alexander Boxler, Managing Director of the German Health Alliance, unfolded the value of private sector partnerships for global health. (F.l.t.r.: Mbali Motsoeneng, Tanya Herfurth, Zoé Speltz and Alexander Boxler)

Overcoming bureaucratic hurdles together 
Four months ago, a private initiative for Ukraine consulted the GHA with the request to donate an urgently needed microscope for a hospital. Thereupon the GHA contacted one of its members – the technology company “ZEISS” – which would in fact provide a microscope quickly and easily. However, this project was in danger of failing because German regulations prohibit a donation to a private initiative. To enable the donation anyway, the GHA approached another of its members, namely “action medeor”. Europe’s largest drug relief organization was to officially accept the microscope and forward it to Ukraine. The microscope arrived at the hospital and was immediately used. Examples like this illustrate the effectiveness of private sector partnerships which can make an important contribution to improving global health. 

The GHA and the benefits of multisectoral cooperation   
The Steering Committee of the Global Health Hub Germany is composed of eight different stakeholder groups. One of them is the private sector and it is represented by “GOPA Worldwide Consultants GmbH” and the "German Health Alliance" (GHA). Alexander Boxler, managing director of the GHA, was invited to the Hub Community for Global Health Partnerships to provide insights into the work of the GHA and the importance of private sector partnerships for global health. GHA is an initiative of the Federation of German Industry e.V. (BDI). Its 120 members from various sectors, such as industry, academia, foundations, NGOs  and governmental development organisations, form the core of the GHA. The network places a strong focus on medical technology, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. The overall goal of GHA’s work is strengthening health systems. To reach this, it strives for multisectoral cooperation between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society. It works with parliamentarians and ministries to put global health on the political agenda, both in Germany and internationally, and advocates for investments in health. It also communicates the interests of its members to policymakers by writing position papers. For example, it contributed to the preparation of the Federal Government’s Global Health Strategy. The GHA also is a platform for the exchange of actors from the health sector and a contact for German and foreign governments on health issues with international reference. The members of the GHA are informed about relevant global health events, topics, and current developments. For its members it organises conferences and round tables with specific working groups on specific topics. This is how they can network and find out whether potential collaborations would be useful.

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