Picture of Health

A guide for philanthropists and changemakers toward better health for all

Picture of Health

Half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services. COVID-19 has put progress further at risk and we need to accelerate our efforts now to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 3: good health and well-being. SDG 3 is especially focused on ensuring that health services, particularly primary health, are accessible to all by 2030.

Whether as philanthropists, investors, business leaders or individuals, be part of raising awareness to current health situations, increase acceptability for required change and enable availability of affordable primary healthcare for everyone.

Download the guide to read more about the issues and solutions, and learn from experts and other philanthropists. Inside, you’ll find concrete tips on how to improve our health system, enable the workforce, prevent the next pandemic, conduct sustainable finance solutions and much more.

A snapshot of the guide can be found below.

A guide for all who wish to enable better health for everyone!

Picture of Health combines the expertise of more than 25 health experts, philanthropists and changemakers, with UBS´s twenty plus years of experience in advising clients on making an effective impact. Find out how you can make a difference.

Executive Summary:

Podcast: Get the full picture!

Phyllis Kurlander Costanza, Head of Social Impact and CEO of UBS Optimus Foundation and Jennifer Schechter, CEO and Founder of Integrate Health talk opportunities and top tips for philanthropists to take action toward better health for all.

Wise words

Raj Panjabi

Raj Panjabi

US Global Malaria Coordinator for the President’s Malaria Initiative

“When philanthropists demonstrate and generate the evidence to change a policy, then governments can finance it at scale. Governments need exemplars to get behind. That can sometimes seem boring – but a fundamental commitment and consistency have created some of the best businesses in the world. We shouldn’t think that simply investing in things like vaccines, medicines, tests and PPE – as important as they are – is sufficient. All of those things protect, are delivered by, or depend on frontline and community workers. They’re the ones who are able to get the community ready to get vaccinated because they’re trusted as a neighbor, daughter or son, brother or sister, or parent in that very community.”

Agnes Binagwaho

Agnes Binagwaho

Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, former Minister of Health of Rwanda

“If we agree that health is not a commodity but a human right and know that philanthropy has the big advantage of being free of politics and can act directly to facilitate what is important for population and individual health, we should all promote this right to be exercised by asking the people at Ministries of Health, “What is your biggest obstacle to improving the health of your people?” and help them to make it happen. Now more than ever, it’s time to think about how you can help the vulnerable with an entrepreneurial spirit and with equity in mind while using data so that we are able to evaluate if we are making a positive impact.”

Fast Facts: Current Global Health Situation

Child Mortality

Child Mortality

  • 5 million children under the age of 5 died in 2019.
  • That is 14 times higher than the average rate in high-income countries. 
  • High under-five mortality rates often reflect a combination of failures of the health system, indicating inequity and systemic health challenges.


  • 218 million women in low and middle income countries have an unmet need for contraception. 
  • 810 women die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, 94% are in low and lower middle-income countries.
Health Care Access

Health Care Access

  • 1 billion people live in remote areas without easy access to health facilities.
  • 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year due to out-of-pocket health expenses.
Health Care Workers

Health Care Workers

  • The massive shortage of health care workers is forecast to grow to 18 million by 2030.
  • Gender norms restrict women’s movement and decision making power.

We need to take action…

Take a systems view

Take a systems view

  • Address all health needs, not just one disease or one aspect of health.
  • Strengthen existing health systems rather than reinventing the wheel.
  • Focus on equity and quality of care.
Put people first

Put people first

  • Seek input from locals on local needs.
  • Focus on primary care where there is the greatest opportunity to achieve better health equity.
  • Use evidence of positive health impact in developing policies and programs.
Focus on impact

Focus on impact

  • Support interventions with evidence that they actually improve health outcomes.
  • Create evidence that can justify scale-up.
  • Link payments to achievement of results wherever possible.
Scale effective solutions

Scale effective solutions

  • Support programs with a scalable model and encourage iterations based on learning, with an eye towards deployment elsewhere (with the necessary local tweaks) and an ultimate exit.
  • Scale through governments or market solutions.
  • Use solutions that already exist when possible.
Support governments

Support governments

  • Partner with governments to help strengthen capacity of the public health system.
  • Fund initiatives that build leadership and management skills.
  • Improve national data systems (and integrate them).
Improve the workforce

Improve the workforce

  • Support efforts to train and employ health workers locally.
  • Make sure workforce investments don’t further perpetuate women’s low status with low or no pay.
  • Promote greater gender equity within the health system, especially for leadership positions.
Use innovative finance

Use innovative finance

  • Invest in blended finance solutions that use philanthropic funds to attract commercial capital for sustainable projects, while potentially providing returns for investors.
  • Invest in sustainable investments that put money to work for good while aiming to provide returns comparable to traditional investments.
Collaborate in collectives

Collaborate in collectives

  • Join an existing collective to combine resources, roll out proven solutions and increase impact.
  • If an issue is not currently being addressed, join forces with others to propose a solution.
Be prepared for the next pandemic

Be prepared for the next pandemic

  • Improve awareness of health issues and acceptability, availability and affordability of health services by addressing inequities in health systems.
Use tools wisely

Use tools wisely

  • Don’t donate medical equipment without also providing proper training on use and maintenance.
  • Make lifesaving medicines more affordable and available by addressing weaknesses in supply chains and markets.
  • Digital tools need to be fully embedded within the health system and owned by governments to have impact and be sustained over time.

This is just a small selection of the guide, highlighting actions to support global health care. To understand these and other issues surrounding SDG3 Good Health and Well-Being, read the full Picture of Health guide.

In focus

Two of the guide’s contributors, each a catalyst for change

Dr. Kamran Khan, BlueDot Founder & CEO

BlueDot is a software-as-a-service platform (SaaS) for outbreak intelligence. The company uses a unique mix of human and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide insights to detect, assess and respond to outbreaks. BlueDot helped predict the Zika outbreak in Florida six months before it began. And in early January 2020, BlueDot published the world’s first scientific paper on the pneumonia outbreak of unknown cause in Wuhan that would later become known as COVID-19. The platform analyzed flight schedules to accurately predict eight of the first ten cities to import the novel coronavirus.

Kamran is a UBS Global Visionary alumni

Ari Johnson, CEO, Muso

With Muso’s proactive care model, community health workers (CHWs) are the frontline changemakers. CHWs go door-to-door to search for patients and connect them to lifesaving services. Muso designed and built 360º Supervision, to assess and support CHWs from multiple angles: interviews with patients, direct observation, dashboard analytics, group supervision and 1:1 coaching. Detailed cost estimating of 360º Supervision shows that this strategy is scalable at a low cost. Unique to the Muso supervision model are solo visits by the supervisor to patient homes to collect patient feedback on the CHW and verify CHW reporting.

Muso is a UBS Optimus Foundation partner.

Sneak peek

Some key quotes from the guide

The philanthropist

Robyn Calder Harawi

Robyn Calder Harawi,
Executive Director,
ELMA Philanthropies

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that babies born in Africa are 10 times more likely to die in the first month of life than babies born in high-income countries. However, the majority of causes of newborn and child mortality can be prevented or treated by skilled health workers. The ELMA Foundation focuses on building the pediatric workforce across all levels of the health system: community health workers as frontline responders, nurses and midwives to support safe birth, and pediatric specialists to lead child-centered improvements to health systems.

The local non-profit

Jennifer Schechter

Jennifer Schechter,
CEO and Co-Founder, Integrate Health

Effective primary health systems meet patients where they are, whether at home or at the clinic. Integrate Health is integrating care delivery by professional community health workers (CHWs) in Togo with improved clinic-based care. CHWs are trained, equipped and salaried individuals from the community who provide home-based care for population-level coverage. Trained clinical mentors provide peer coaching to nurses and midwives in public clinics. Over the past five years, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Integrate Health has expanded this approach to serve nearly 200,000 people across northern Togo.

The social entrepreneur

Dr. Bernard Olayo

Dr. Bernard Olayo,
Founder, Hewatele

Hewatele (“plentiful air” in Swahili) is a social enterprise focused on saving lives by addressing the shortage of affordable, accessible and quality medical oxygen solutions at healthcare facilities in East Africa. Hewatele provides reasonably priced oxygen for needy patients and trains healthcare workers on delivery. Access has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic because oxygen serves as first-line treatment in severe illness.

The innovative economist

Aakif Merchant

Aakif Merchant,
Associate Director, Convergence

There is great potential for philanthropists to think about where and how to strategically deploy patient and flexible capital to mobilize additional private capital in the health sector. Blended finance structures combine public or philanthropic funds with private sector funds to increase the pool of available funding allowing private investors with various return expectations to tap into social finance opportunities.

This is just a taster – to learn more about all
the opportunities to be more effective,
read Picture of Health…

If you’re passionate about the oceans, please check out our previous guide, Sea Beyond the Blue…

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