Lions Health Day 2: Being Better at Doing Good

June 21, 2015

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Day two at Lions Heath at times left me feeling uncomfortable, privileged and unknowingly apathetic. Two very different sessions directly challenged me to deliver on the festival promise of life-changing creativity.

The United Nations Foundation (a FleishmanHillard client) led the first session of the day on Creative Solutions for Saving Women’s Lives around the Globe. The statistics were appalling yet shockingly familiar.

300,000 women die giving birth each year, most entirely preventable. That’s the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing every single day for a year. 6 million children under five die each year.

60% of preventable maternal deaths and 50% of under five deaths occur in humanitarian and fragile settings mainly due to lack of access to care, information and education.

Dr. Rajiv Shah of USAID left me in no doubt as to the role that I and indeed all at FleishmanHillard can play when he stated that “we can save lives and advance the cause of justice through storytelling.”

Some of the world’s largest social and health related problems could be resolved by communications programs that result in behavior change. Imagine what we could achieve if we realized widespread awareness and understanding of the following messages:

  • Keep girls in school
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a condom
  • Seek healthcare for yourself

So what are we going to do about these issues?

We must become champions of change through life-saving creativity. I know that I will hold myself against a higher creative standard and will be paying close attention to the work my clients are doing to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Emma Walmsley, CEO, GSK Consumer Health as part of a later equally inspiring session reminded me that our clients and partners need their agency partners to constantly push for creativity because sometimes they can’t and because sometimes it saves lives.

We must become better at doing good.