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GE expands healthcare initiative to hospitals in 10 African countries

AZDEL : 21 August, 2007  (Company News)
GE announced today it has expanded its philanthropic initiative to improve primary healthcare facilities in Africa through a new cooperative effort with the Earth Institute at Columbia University. GE in-kind donations from healthcare, water, energy and electrical system products will benefit more than a dozen hospitals near Millennium Village Project sites where The Earth Institute is working with communities and governments in 10 African nations.
The Millennium Villages Project is designed to help rural Africa achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals--eight objectives to accelerate the reduction or end of extreme poverty, hunger, disease, inequality and other pressing issues facing the poorest countries.

GE's contributions will range from healthcare and power generation equipment to water filtration systems, appliances and lighting. In addition to equipment donations, the company will provide the necessary training and support to ensure ongoing use and maximum community benefit. This effort by GE Healthcare, GE Infrastructure and GE Industrial is part of the parent company's five-year, $20 million humanitarian project to provide a combination of equipment and services to improve community health and reduce infant and maternal mortality in selected sites throughout Africa.

'We hope that GE can play a role in reducing mortality rates by providing sustainable access to cleaner water, medical treatment and power in the targeted African communities,' said Bob Corcoran, GE, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship. 'Working with Jeff Sachs and the Earth Institute in concert with the Millennium Villages Project will help us develop the most effective and targeted long-term solutions to community needs.'

For many people living in rural areas of Africa, access to urgent health services often requires overcoming a grueling distance on unpaved roads by foot or bicycle. For those in Millennium Village communities, the nearest hospital can be from 10 kilometers (6 miles) to as much as 150 kilometers (93 miles) away. In some Millennium Village sites a health center can only provide limited diagnostic capacity and treatment. In emergency situations, particularly for expectant mothers in distress, traveling just a mile may make the difference in whether a woman or her unborn child lives or dies. Without modern diagnostic and surgical equipment, many large district hospitals in Africa are often ill equipped to help these urgent cases. GE's support will help ensure that hospitals can provide the care needed to save lives in resource-poor areas of Africa.

'This is a remarkable contribution. It will save a vast number of lives, and help to inspire actions by others that will save millions of lives,' said Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. 'GE's unique technological leadership and unrivaled global reputation will draw individuals and businesses from all sectors to the village-based economic development and to the fight against extreme poverty. Most importantly it will bring life and hope to the poorest people in the world today.'

Currently the MVP operates in 10 African countries, including: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Mali, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. In partnership with the UN Millennium Project, Millennium Promise, a new nongovernmental organization designed to scale up the Millennium Villages model, other NGOs, institutional and individual donors, and corporations and foundations, the project seeks to reach more than half a million rural poor in Africa by 2008.

GE is Imagination at Work, a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines, earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences, and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, the Earth Institute mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world's poor.
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