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UBS Optimus Foundation and partners honored for tackling Ebola
Zurich, 28 September 2015 – The UBS Optimus Foundation and its trusted partner Last Mile Health were among a select group of organizations honored in the prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2015 for their work in tackling the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
UBS Optimus Foundation partner Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health, a community-based health organization in Liberia, accepted on behalf of all the organizations honored. Founded by survivors from Liberia’s civil war, Last Mile Health saves lives in the world’s most remote villages by bringing critical health services to people's doorsteps. The UBS Optimus Foundation was represented by Caroline Anstey, Global Head UBS and Society.
Caroline Anstey, Global Head UBS and Society, said, "Acting swiftly and effectively while maintaining a strong focus on long-term success; these are the hallmarks of the UBS Optimus Foundation and its trusted partners. I am delighted that this has been recognized with this prestigious award."
Raj Panjabi, CEO Last Mile Health, said, "We are honored and humbled to receive this award alongside so many other extraordinary organizations, and tremendously grateful to the UBS Optimus Foundation for being the first to provide Last Mile Health with Ebola response funding in early 2014. Thanks to their support, we were able to respond swiftly and effectively to the crisis.”
Rooting out Ebola: The international response to the outbreak was widely criticized as being too slow, allowing the outbreak to spread. However, by the early summer of 2014, the Optimus Foundation had provided funds to Last Mile Health in Liberia. The success of this approach is clear given that Liberia was the first country to be declared Ebola-free. In addition, Solar Suitcases – another UBS Optimus Foundation-funded project– were deployed to help pregnant women to give birth safely at night in clinics without electricity. And additional funding meant that more resources could later be deployed to Sierra Leone to support efforts to fight the disease there.
Long-term benefits: To help ensure any future outbreak is contained swiftly, or perhaps even prevented, Last Mile Health is supporting the Liberian Government to establish a network of professional community health workers across Liberia to reinforce the health system.
Notes to Editors
About the award: The Clinton Global Citizen Awards were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York on Sunday 27 September. The Clinton Global Citizen Awards were established in 2007, as part of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, to recognize extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated visionary leadership in solving pressing global challenges. Through their work, these global citizens inspire people to take action and have proven that diverse sectors of society can work together to address today’s most pressing challenges.
About Last Mile Health: Founded by the survivors of Liberia’s civil war, Last Mile Health (LMH) saves lives in the world’s most remote villages. The organization specializes in the development and management of professionalized Community Health Workers who bridge the gap between hospitals and remote villages, bringing critical services to the doorsteps of people living in the last mile. LMH’s programs are implemented hand-in-hand with community members, local government officials, national policy makers, and global partners to ensure sustainable impact. Last Mile Health is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with offices in Liberia, Boston and New York. For more information, visit www.lastmilehealth.org.
About We Care Solar's Solar Suitcases: Over a quarter of a million mothers die of pregnancy-related complications and two million babies die in the first month of life, often in health centers without reliable electricity. The suitcases are low-cost and easy to use and, coupled with training for local health workers, they have helped improve survival rates significantly. The suitcases capture the sun's energy during the day and provide a reliable source of electricity at night in health clinics in poor rural areas. Dr Stachel recently won the United Nations' first ever Powering the Future award. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented the USD 1 million award at a special award ceremony at the UN's headquarters in New York on 14 September. Dr Stachel was also named a CNN hero 2013 and won the inaugural UBS Optimus Prize in 2015.
About the UBS Optimus Foundation: Our vision is simple: a world where all children reach their full potential. To make this a reality, we concentrate on high-impact projects that help ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and ready for their future. We break down barriers that prevent children from thriving by funding innovative programs in places where children face adversity. We currently support 128 programs across four continents reaching 1.8 million children directly. UBS clients have easy access to our experts in Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK, and the US. Furthermore, we have the ability to increase the reach of donations substantially by leveraging them through our global network, which includes international donors and funding partnerships, and matching by UBS. Because all our administrative costs are covered by UBS, our donors know that 100 percent of their contributions will go directly to programs that support children. Our grant-making specialists apply a rigorous, evidence-based approach to selecting projects aimed at delivering measurable results. As a result, our donors can be confident that their investment will be closely monitored in an effort to achieve the best possible outcomes for vulnerable children. For more information visit www.ubs.com/optimus