Dept. of Renewal: A Pharma Foundation Keeps the Money Flowing to Its Global Health Grantees

a health clinic in africa. photo:  Clive Chilvers /shutterstock

a health clinic in africa. photo: Clive Chilvers/shutterstock

The outcomes of half-hearted giving can be crushing, especially in poor countries: programs that stall and fail, populations whose hopes are raised only to see them dashed. One need look no farther than broken-down “dig-and-dash” water and sanitation programs to see the negative effects of inconsistent or one-off giving, from disease to community-wide setbacks.

That’s why it’s good to see the Pfizer Foundation staying the course with the recent announcement that it is continuing to support local organizations through its 2018 Global Health Innovation Grants (CHIG).

Twenty organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America will benefit from the grants, which aim to “enable these organizations to expand their unique approaches to tackling some of today’s most complex healthcare challenges—from addressing health inequities faced by women and children, to advancing innovative healthcare models that target underserved populations.”

The Pfizer Foundation launched the CHIG program in 2016. In an encouraging sign of the foundation’s commitment to offering consistent support, 17 of the organizations among this year’s winners received GHIG grants last year, as well.

This group of grantees includes Afya Research Africa, which runs a network of clinics in Kenya. Their “Ubuntu-Afya Kiosks” aim to boost primary care in underserved, rural areas. A total of 15,000 people are served by their 11 clinics in farming and fishing communities. Another is Clínicas del Azúcar, which is using its grant to expand low-cost services to more than 3,000 people with diabetes in rural areas of Mexico.

The Pfizer Foundation, a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc., aims at improving access to healthcare and promoting medical innovation through education.

As we’ve noted, the foundation tends to be very generous overall, funding initiatives both internationally and stateside. It spreads its giving around to a pretty good number of grantees. On top of that, the foundation is definitely choosy about which health initiatives it supports. (You can read our take on its giving here.)

Disease-related grant out of Pfizer vary pretty widely in size, from a low end of $500 to a high end of around $300,000. However, most grants fall into the $5,000 to $50,000 range.

As we’ve reported, the Pfizer Foundation also places bigger bets. In 2014, it announced that it was awarding $2 million in grants to UNICEF, Save the Children, and International Rescue Committee. The grant money funded a pilot vaccine delivery program focusing on individuals living in remote villages and underserved populations in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

Related: Pfizer Gives Big to Help Bridge the Last Mile Vaccine Gap