NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, 1 in 3 of the world’s children have enough lead in their blood to cause permanent brain damage. It is one of the most urgent, yet underrecognized, children’s health issues of our time. International nonprofit Pure Earth, the leading organization addressing the global childhood lead poisoning crisis, will receive a $7.1+ million* donation from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”), global biopharmaceutical leader, to make a significant impact in the lives of approximately 9 million children in five countries. The award, from Takeda’s Global CSR Program, is Pure Earth’s first leadership donation from the health care industry.
Over 90 percent of the burden of lead poisoning falls on children in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the enormous long-term health and economic harms of lead exposure, these countries lack systems and technical capacity to effectively address it. The contribution will strengthen health care systems in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, and Peru to identify, monitor, treat, and reduce childhood lead exposure and poisoning. A broad health education and awareness raising program will benefit an estimated 1.4 million parents, teachers, and schoolchildren. These efforts will reduce lead exposure in five priority countries, enabling children to achieve their full potential, unhindered by the physical and neurological damage caused by lead.
“Pure Earth is honored to count Takeda as a key corporate partner. Together, we will equip five countries with the ability to evaluate and identify children currently suffering from lead poisoning undetected and unseen, so that the healing can begin. More than 9 million lives will be transformed. This is a powerful example of how public-private partnerships can accelerate solutions. Takeda’s leadership on the childhood lead poisoning crisis is an impactful model to follow,” says Richard Fuller, Pure Earth Founder and CEO.
Pure Earth’s 2020 report with UNICEF, The Toxic Truth, which revealed for the first time the surprising extent of childhood lead poisoning globally, has helped to accelerate actions and commitments to address this crisis.
"We are proud to support and partner with Pure Earth to address global childhood lead poisoning in five countries by strengthening national health care systems to identify, monitor and treat lead poisoning and expand families' understanding of the issue," says Takako Ohyabu, Takeda chief global corporate affairs & sustainability officer. "This is Takeda Global CSR's first partnership to directly address lead poisoning, and we believe that this five-year program will help address this important global health issue and make a sustainable long-lasting impact for both people and the planet."
Pure Earth has assisted Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, and the Philippines in launching pilots of national blood lead monitoring programs. With Takeda’s bold leadership, five new national programs will be designed and implemented, providing a sustainable structure to serve as models beyond the initial recipient countries.
*Committed total is JPY 1 billion. Financial information relating to the donation has been converted from Japanese Yen (JPY) to USD using the exchange rate as of September 2, 2022. Amounts payable as part of the donation are denominated in JPY.
About Pure Earth
Pure Earth is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving lives and protecting the planet by reducing disease-causing pollution and cleaning up toxic hot spots in low- and middle-income countries. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth and its field teams have completed more than 120 projects in 27 countries using best-in-class science, analytics, and engineering practices to identify toxic hot spots and teach communities how to improve soil, water, and air quality with pragmatic, cost-effective solutions. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of death and disease in the world, stealing 9 million lives each year, and disabling hundreds of millions of children. Pure Earth prioritizes actions that protect the developing brains and bodies of children and pregnant women living in toxic hot spots with a specific emphasis on lead and mercury exposure. Partnering with governments, communities, and industry leaders, Pure Earth aims to elevate pollution as a global priority, create sustainable change, and support a healthier future. www.pureearth.org