Looking to the Future of the Astellas Global Health Foundation

By Shingo Iino, Ph.D., President of the Astellas Global Health Foundation

In October 2021, I was honored to be named the president of the Astellas Global Health Foundation. Launched in 2018, the Foundation has awarded nearly $7 million in grants to support charitable initiatives focused on improving access to health, building resilient communities and providing disaster support.

Our initial grants have helped support access to health initiatives focused on neglected tropical diseases and communicable disease care and treatment, children’s health and mental health. The Foundation also has supported efforts intended to strengthen community health infrastructure and respond to disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We have embraced the importance of supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

According to the United Nations, COVID-19 unfortunately has reversed decades of progress on poverty, healthcare and education.1 The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, magnified disparities and exposed weak healthcare infrastructure, putting the world’s most vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, at even higher risk. This is a critical moment for improving access to health for these populations, and we are even more inspired by the humanitarian organizations we are supporting that are working tirelessly to make a positive difference for affected communities.

While many organizations are, and should be, prioritizing the response to COVID-19, the preexisting issues affecting access to health and healthcare infrastructure also are critical to address. All low-income countries are affected by at least five neglected tropical diseases, more than 75 percent of people affected by mental health, substance abuse and other disorders in many low- and middle-income countries do not have access to the treatment they need, and the leading causes of death in children under age five can often be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions. The Astellas Global Health Foundation will continue to provide funding to organizations seeking to improve access to health in these areas alongside funding to support efforts to address the pandemic.

We expect the initiatives through the grants we have awarded thus far to impact the lives of more than 31 million people, and we are committed to collaborating with existing and new global charity partners in meaningful ways to make an even greater impact. As we look forward to the Foundation’s future, we are committed to making decisions today that will contribute toward a sustainable future for us all. We are proud to work with partners who are working not only to meet the current access to health needs of patients and communities, but also building and strengthening healthcare infrastructure and helping communities prepare for and respond to future disasters.

The Foundation will continue to invest in novel, sustainable solutions that go beyond immediate aid and work to begin solving challenges, as well as initiatives that can be replicated and expanded to reach more people in need. We have ambitious goals, and we are dedicated to supporting philanthropic organizations making the greatest impact. We recognize that efforts to improve access to health, build community resilience and provide disaster relief are urgently needed around the world. As a non-profit corporation, we will continue working to make a meaningful impact in areas outside of where Astellas operates and conducts business as we actively support partner initiatives that contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals1 and align with the Foundation’s policies.

I am grateful to work with the Foundation’s Board, Officers and committee members who are dedicated to addressing the critical access to health needs that we see globally, and I look forward to the continued impact that we can make together with our partners as we work to build “One World, A Healthier Tomorrow.”

About the Astellas Global Health Foundation
The Astellas Global Health Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that awards grants to support charitable purposes with a focus on improving access to health in underserved global communities, building resilient communities and providing disaster support in order to make a sustainable impact on the health of people around the world, working toward “One World, A Healthier Tomorrow.” The Foundation’s grants are made to charitable programs outside of Astellas Pharma Inc.’s (Astellas) therapeutic areas, in low- to middle-income countries where Astellas does not have a business presence (list of Astellas offices/subsidiaries), and in alignment with Astellas’ corporate sustainability focus on Access to Health and consistent commitment to making a sustainable impact on the health of vulnerable populations around the world.

To learn more about the Astellas Global Health Foundation please visit


  1. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020. Accessed May 18, 2022. Link:
    https://www.un.org/ development/ desa/ en/ news/ sustainable/ sustainable- development- goals- report- 2020.html
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control Neglected Tropical Diseases. Accessed May 18, 2022. Link:
    https://www.cdc.gov/ globalhealth/ newsroom/ topics/ ntds/ index.html
  3. WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health. Accessed May 18, 2022. Link:
    https://www.who.int/ initiatives/ who- special- initiative- for- mental- health.
  4. WHO statistics on file.