New approach to global health challenges

Pressmeddelande   •   Mar 15, 2015 21:42 CET

Finding solutions to the health issues identified by the United Nations

The Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by all the United Nations member states, are due in 2015. Out of the eight goals identified, numbers four and five, relating to maternal and child health, are not likely to be met. Still only half of pregnant women in developing regions receive the recommended minimum of four antenatal care visits. According to the World Health Organisation, around 6.3 million children under the age of five died in 2013 mainly due to preventable diseases. This staggering figure is, according to the UN’s own estimations, 2.1 million away from the Millennium Development Goal and will take several additional years to reach. More work thus needs to be done and fresh approaches implemented. Social innovations and innovative partnerships are necessary to tackle these complex challenges. A holistic view must be taken, looking at different perspectives of health including e.g. water, vaccination, sanitation and animal health. Sweden has a long tradition of systems thinking, as well as of innovation and entrepreneurship. We are thus well positioned to develop and scale up social innovations in healthcare, water and sanitation.

Swecare and the Health Initiatives group (HIG) strongly believe that innovation is necessary to tackle the issues facing countries with scarce resources, and thus launched this seminar focused on what can be done to accelerate development and support roll-out of low-cost, innovative solutions in underserved areas, for example in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initial discussions have focussed on maternal and child health, and how Sweden through these innovations and approaches can contribute to the attainment of global health goals.

An open invitation

Scalability of individual local health projects in developing regions often face a quagmire of institutional obstacles due to a lack of broader regional strategy, which ultimately limits their success. As a response to these obstacles, the constituents of the HIG are aiming to shine a light on innovative approaches to multifaceted global health challenges, implement a wider cooperative focus and develop a stronger network of knowledge sharing and support, including national stakeholders who wish to join hands to improve health on a large scale. The seminar, which hopefully will be one of many, will set the stage for this initiative and is an open invitation to others looking to achieve meaningful and long-lasting positive effects in the attainment of sustainable improvements in health for people in low-income countries.

The ambition of the Health Initiatives group is to share knowledge across sectors, thereby serving as a facilitator which not only can help provide a positive impact on health related issues where it is most needed in the world, but also contribute to job creation in these and related support areas as well as opening new markets for Swedish companies active in the health and sanitation area..

A network

The Health Initiatives group currently consist of Shifo Foundation, Solvatten, Peepoople, IKARE, ActionAid, representatives for Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Swecare.

For more information on the seminar please visit:

For questions, please contact:

SwecareAnna Riby
Tel: +46 8 406 75 57

A swedish innovation that makes microbiologically contaminated water drinkable in 2-6 hours, depending on the weather. The SOLVATTEN system uses heat and UV from the sun, and a built-in filter, to purify contaminated water. 

Providing SOLVATTEN to households will help contribute towards sustainable development, through improved living standards, improved health, protection of the environment, and by making income-generating activities possible.

The portable 10-liter unit can improve the daily lives of millions of people who do not have access to safe drinking water, thereby contributing to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.