Johnson & Johnson Launches New West Africa Regional Operations in Ghana

ACCRA, GHANA (7 March, 2017) — By expanding its operations, Johnson & Johnson further supports local healthcare providers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in tackling emerging health priorities in West Africa

Photo: Johnson & Johnson
Photo: Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson today announced the expansion of its operations in Africa with the launch of a new office in Accra, Ghana. The company’s new presence will bring together multiple teams representing Johnson & Johnson consumer, medical device, pharmaceutical and global public health (GPH) organizations to deliver an integrated approach to improving health outcomes in the region.

Johnson & Johnson’s office in Ghana will help coordinate the company’s global public health capabilities and resources to deliver a sustainable, measurable impact against significant public health needs in the region. The team in Ghana will translate the company’s strategy into locally-executable programs that drive health impact in collaboration with local health delivery partners. Business development teams from Johnson & Johnson companies will also collaborate with academic centers and entrepreneurs to explore local innovative healthcare-based initiatives.

“The opening of our new office will play a major role in supporting Johnson & Johnson’s goal of helping to improve the quality of and access to healthcare in West Africa,” said Priscilla Owusu-Sekyere, Country Manager of the Johnson & Johnson office in Accra. “We are building a talented team that will lead the expansion of our product portfolio and continue to address many of the most prominent health issues impacting patients and health care providers here. Specifically, our team will address the health issues that matter most to Ghana by prioritizing new initiatives in mental health; diabetes; maternal, newborn and child health; HIV prevention and oncology.”

The Honourable Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Health Minister in Ghana, participated in the opening ceremony celebrating the company’s commitment to the region. He shared his vision for healthcare in Ghana and welcomed opportunities to collaborate on projects that will help strengthen the country’s healthcare system and attract investment into local health-related programs.

Building on the company’s 86-year history in Africa, Johnson & Johnson will work in Ghana to support efforts to deliver innovative treatments, diagnostic technologies and service delivery models that meet a variety of patient needs. While helping to strengthen national health systems and build research and development capabilities among Ghanaian researchers, the Johnson & Johnson team will focus on disease prevention and the health needs of young people in order to build a sustainable path to well-being for future generations.

“We’ve learned over time that solving last-mile challenges through local empowerment and partnerships offers the greatest potential impact in the fight against public health challenges, and that it can also help fuel the local economy and catalyze infrastructure investments,”

said Alma Scott, Vice President of Global Operations and Partnerships for Johnson & Johnson’s global public health organization. “We plan to collaborate with local governments, NGOs and community-based organizations to uncover novel service delivery models and introduce new programs, treatments and technologies that help address priority health issues impacting the country.”

Johnson & Johnson leads or sponsors several programs already in Ghana that are focused on building professional capacity, strengthening health systems and providing care to neglected or vulnerable patient communities. For example, the company partners with the Medical Surgical Skills Institute and the Management Development Institute to advance health-related training in West Africa for healthcare professionals and government leaders. Examples of other ongoing programs in Ghana supported by Johnson & Johnson include:

  •  Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) trains health care workers in low-resource settings to intervene when newborns have birth asphyxia, a potentially fatal inability to take the first breath of life.
  •  IVUmed trains surgeons and surgical nurse practitioners in removal of hydrocele, a fluid-filled enlargement of the sac around the testes resulting from the parasitic disease lymphatic filariasis.
  • Operation Smile is the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity providing free cleft surgeries to heal cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
  • Breast Care International‘s partnership with Johnson & Johnson implements an oncology training program for registered nurses in Ghana.
  • Basic Needs‘ partnership with Johnson & Johnson involves medicine donations for mental health disorders and therapeutic techniques through gardening projects; the current gardening project will benefit over 150 patients and over 100 care givers.
  • The SOS Children’s Villages project creates brighter futures for families by preparing orphaned and abandoned children to become self-sufficient and productive adults.
  •  The Medical and Surgical Skills Institute (MSSI), established by Johnson & Johnson and other partners, has become a center of excellence for advanced health care training in West Africa providing hands-on medical and surgical skills training using modern equipment, facilities and technology; in 2016, more than 3,500 health professionals were trained, benefitting approximately seven million patients across Africa.
  • The Management Development Institute (MDI) partnership with Johnson & Johnson aims to equip Ministries of Health and other organizations delivering health care services to underserved populations with the requisite management and leadership capacity to implement their health priorities.
  • The Ghana AIDS Commission is supported by Johnson & Johnson in its campaign to ensure that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90 percent of people receiving ART have viral suppression.
  • Direct Relief partners with Johnson & Johnson to study long-term health care capacity building opportunities that will help people suffering from mental health challenges in Ghana and serve as a model for other regions.

Currently, 3.6% of GDP in Ghana is devoted to addressing health challenges.[i] In response to the Sustainable Development Goals, Ghana’s government committed to increase funding for health to at least 15% of the national budget.[ii] For example, plans are underway to strengthen free maternal health care and improve child health by ensuring 85% of children are fully immunized.[iii] Johnson & Johnson’s new Ghana office will support this growing dedication to health improvement in the country, particularly the emphasis on prevention of disease and advancing therapies through programs involving health education and vaccine development.

“The continued expansion of our operations in Africa brings to bear Johnson & Johnson’s heritage of innovation, collaboration and grass roots partnership with the goal of sustainable health outcomes,” said Jaak Peeters, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson’s global public health organization. “Our team in Ghana will help researchers and healthcare professionals in the region develop their own lasting environments for long-term disease management.” 

About Johnson & Johnson in Africa

Johnson & Johnson’s presence in Africa includes business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship. The operations expand upon the company’s legacy and presence in Africa, which began in 1930, and build on existing work conducted by the more than 1,500 employees and the three manufacturing sites on the continent. Global public health collaborations focus on partnerships that improve the lives of women and children, prevent disease among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the healthcare workforce. The company’s global public health strategy uses an end-to-end approach, which includes early stage disease-specific research, product development, manufacturing and distribution, and education and training resources through its philanthropic efforts. Through innovation, collaboration and local engagement we are:

  • Cultivating Africa’s innovation
  • Expanding R&D skills and capacity among African scientists
  • Catalyzing healthcare infrastructure investments
  • Enhancing collaboration with local health delivery partners
  • Boosting education and training resources for healthcare workers
  • Empowering African youth to thrive and become drivers of change
  • Improving access to medicines.

About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time, inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 126,900 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.


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