Project concept

From Japan to Africa. -Our Love for Mothers and Children Goes Around and Expands- [Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project] Our project supports children's and mother's health as the basis of prosperity of society

To build a sustainable society, it is necessary to create a favorable environment for the next generation of children to grow healthy.

"Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project" aims to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by protecting pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 5 years of age from preventable death and strengthening health systems.


To develop sustainable communities for the well-being of mothers and children.


  • Improving health of pregnant and breastfeeding women and health of children under 5 years of age
  • Establishment of sustainable community health systems

Activity overview


This project has worked to improve maternal and child health in Africa since 2015 with World Vision Japan (WVJ). We completed the second term project in December 2023. We are currently implementing the third term project with WVJ in Nakuru County of Kenya, and with Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP) in Upper Manya Krobo district in Eastern Region of Ghana.

Features of the business
The third term project will leverage the learnings and networks we have gained through the first and second term projects to improve maternal and child health in collaboration with various partners. This will be done through collective impact, an approach of effectively combining the strengths of respective participants, including business enterprises and NGOs. A particular focus will be placed on enhancing access to healthcare, improving the sanitary environment, and reducing diarrhea among children, all of which are major challenges faced in low- and middle-income countries.
  • It maximizes the impact of the efforts by organizations including business enterprises, governments and NGOs/NPOs by their collaborative commitment to solving social issues.

< Collaborative partner >

First Term Project: WVJ

Second Term Project: WVJ, Panasonic Holdings Corporation

・Third Term Project: WVJ, JOICFP

Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa still sees 76※1 under-5 mortality per 1,000 live births and 533※1 maternal mortality per 100,000 live births, with a huge difference from the relevant targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ("as low as 25" and "less than 70", respectively※2).

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than half of worldwide maternal and under-5 mortality.
Maternal mortality*1.  Sub-Saharan Africa: 68%. Under-5 deaths*1. Sub-Saharan Africa: 55%.
The prime causes of under-5 mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa are birth-related events and infectious diseases.
Causes of under-5 mortality*3. Infectious diseases: 42%. Birth-related events: 31%. Other
  1. ※1
  2. ※2
    Targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (WHO)
  3. ※3
    Child Mortality Report 2019

It is necessary to improve the environment for pregnancy and childbirth and to tackle the problem of infectious diseases of children

47% of under-5 mortality occur less than 28 days after birth, and more than a third of them occur on the day of birth. Most of those mortality are thought to have been preventable.
  • Child Mortality Report 2019

Three pillars of activities

This project aims not only to improve the environment for pregnancy and childbirth but also to enable community people to manage their own health by educating the local communities, helping community healthcare workers in capacity development, improving the water hygiene environment, and conducting advocacy activities toward the government.

Improvement of infrastructure

  • Building health facilities
  • Maintaining equipment and fixtures
  • Providing mobile clinic services
  • Building water supply facilities, etc.

Education and sensitization

  • Capacity building of healthcare workers
  • Training of community healthcare workers
  • Awareness-raising activities for community people (about health, nutrition, and hygiene)

Enhancement of the community support system

  • Promote the participation of community people in addressing health service issues
  • Facilitate the partnership between the communities and government officials
  • Enhancement of monitoring and evaluation
  • Community healthcare workers continue to conduct awareness-raising activities for community people
  • Community people understand the significance of health services and use them
  • Community people become accustomed to proper nutrition and hygienic behavior
  • Community people take the initiative in improving health services
  • The government and its partners collaborate to monitor the activities

Project Goal

Improving health of pregnant and breastfeeding women and health of children under 5 years of age

Project Goal

Establishment of sustainable community health systems

Project Vision

To develop sustainable communities for the well-being of mothers and children

Achievements of this project

Cumulative number of patients who received medical services. Clinics 105,522 persons. Mobile clinic 21,728 persons.
For sustainable activities. Number of members in Mother to Mother groups*. 504 persons.

Reporting period: October 2015 - November 2023

  • Activity in which mothers in each region form groups and teach each other about maternal and child health and nutrition (peer education). The number of members has been revised due to a revision of the definition of the group: 2,350 persons → 986 persons (as of April 12, 2024)

1st) Project Overview

2nd) Project Efforts in Kilifi Country, Kenya

3rd) What's "Mother to Mother Group"

Origin of “Mother to Mother”

The Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project began with the thought of a Shionogi employee who took a leave of absence from the company and was assigned to Kenya in 2009 as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer of the AIDS countermeasures program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

mother to mother image

“I would like to help Kenyan mothers who are sincere about receiving AIDS treatment for the sake of their children.”

In Kenya, there were people who went to the hospital to continue to receive proper treatment for AIDS.
Many of them were women with children.
They have to protect their children and families.
To this end, they have to deal with their own health problems.
Mothers who were sincere about receiving treatment were always in front of me.


“I found that medicine that was simply provided was not reaching the people who needed it.”

When I was in Japan, I thought that if we provided medicine free of charge, it would be delivered to people who needed it and help save their lives.
However, when I actually went to Africa, I found that medicine that was simply provided was not reaching the people who needed it.
I returned to Japan feeling discouraged.
Feeling distressed that I couldn’t do anything about it at the time, I kept thinking about a solution to the problem. I finally arrived at the idea that I would take advantage of the power of Shionogi, a pharmaceutical company that has been striving infectious diseases for a long time. 

Center: Ai Tsuchida
Center: Ai Tsuchida

The number of people who sympathize with my idea has increased in Shionogi. Then, we launch a maternal and child health support project in partnership with World Vision Japan.

Cooperation with employees in the Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project

In this project, each employee is committed as a member of society to helping solve maternal and child health issues in developing countries.


(1) Contribution through donations made by employees

Employees make donations through the Shionogi Social Contribution Support Association “Socie” to this project.

In addition, we have established a system to support this project through donations using reward points granted to employees according to their use of cafeteria systems and Web- and app-based healthcare support services.


(2) Activities promoted together with employees: Mother to Mother Ambassadors 

We utilize our website and hold in-house lectures to enable our employees to deepen their understanding of maternal and child health issues in developing countries and collaborate with each other in considering and implementing what they can do to improve access to healthcare and achieve UHC.

Moreover, as of March 2023, 353 employees support activities in this project by serving as “Mother to Mother Ambassadors,” who advocate the significance and details of project activities within their own organizations.

Online in-house lecture
Online in-house lecture
Live streaming of a ceremony for the handover of a dispensary
Live streaming of a ceremony for the handover of a dispensary
Live streaming of a ceremony for the handover of a dispensary
Live streaming of a ceremony for the handover of a dispensary