Coca-cola, others seek increased healthcare funding in Africa

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The Coca-Cola Company and fourteen other global corporations have urged US Congressional leaders to include increased investments to support sub-Saharan healthcare systems and workers.

The companies, acting on the platform of the Friends of the Global Fund, recently sent a joint letter to the US Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell; House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi; and the Senate and the House Minority Leaders, calling for the supplemental funding.

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The group requested the Congress continue to provide healthcare funding support to sub-Saharan African countries so that the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences would not result in an increase in deaths from killer diseases on the continent.

They noted, “In sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 threatens fragile health systems and the virus has the potential to infect nearly a quarter of a billion people over the next year.

“COVID-19 also risks undermining decades of progress against epidemics that kill millions of people every year: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”

Commenting on the appeal to the US Congress, President for Coca-Cola Africa and Middle East, Bruno Pietracci, said it was crucial the global community stood up to the responsibility to enable quick recovery and resilience-building for developing regions such as Africa.

“That is the only way we can all emerge stronger together from the unprecedented impact of this pandemic,” Pietracci said.

The letter was signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola, James Quincey, along with the CEOs of Abbott, Cepheid, Johnson & Johnson, Mylan, Sanofi, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Vestergaard, Zenysis, Aegon-Transamerica, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Novartis, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, UPS and ViiV Healthcare.