GE Launches Healthcare and Education Initiative in Africa

FAIRFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 4, 2004--GE has announced the launch of a five-year, $20 million humanitarian project that aims to bring improved healthcare provision and infrastructure to hospitals and clinics in Africa.

Four GE businesses - GE Healthcare, GE Energy, GE Infrastructure and GE Consumer & Industrial - will donate a combination of healthcare and power generation equipment, water filtration systems, appliances and lighting to African clinics and hospitals. GE has also made financial contributions via non-profit organizations with strong contacts in the region.

The goal is to help reduce mortality rates by providing sustainable access to cleaner water, medical treatment and power, across a number of sites in Africa. The initiative is starting in Ghana and will extend to other African countries over the life of the project.

In addition to the product donations, the GE Foundation is partnering with Plan USA on a five-year employee donation program to allow GE employees the opportunity to sponsor a child's education. The donations will be matched with equivalent funding from the GE Foundation. The money will go towards a general education fund with the goal of providing access to high quality education for children in the project sites throughout the next five years.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, "GE has the technical capability and a strong desire to help address some of the serious issues the region is facing. By tapping into our diverse portfolio of infrastructure businesses, we are matching our technical capabilities with communities that we can help in a sustainable way. I'm proud of the GE employees and our partners who have dedicated themselves to this terrific humanitarian project."

On October 4, GE's Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, Bob Corcoran, and GE's Regional Executive for Africa, Yibrah Tesfazghi, were welcomed by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, CEO of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in Ghana's capital city of Accra, at an event to mark the commissioning of the product donations.

These include a cardiothoracic surgical center, critical care patient monitors, anesthesia delivery and ventilators, to assist the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in its mission to provide lifesaving healthcare. The hospital trains doctors from all of Africa, which should help to ensure that the benefits of the initiative are widespread.

On October 5, Corcoran and Tesfazghi will travel to Asesewa to commission the equipment donations, which have enabled the upgrade of the local clinic into a district hospital. Portable ultrasound equipment, x-rays, monitors, anesthesia and incubators have been donated to the newly-created district hospital, which serves Asesewa's population of 100,000 people. In addition to the healthcare equipment, GE provided power generation equipment and refrigerators and freezers to store vaccines and medicine.

GE donated the equipment to the U.S.-based not-for-profit, Assist International, which in turn donated the equipment to the Ghana Health Services. Assist International, Plan USA and GECAD, a local distributor for GE, were instrumental in providing ground-level support and site preparation, medical and service training, and staffing needs to ensure timely, cost-effective and quality construction, as well as sustainable operation of the facilities and equipment.

"The Upper Manya Krobo area, where Asesewa is located, is in one of the most deprived areas in the Eastern Region of Ghana, with some very difficult-to-reach communities," said Ghana Health Service Director General Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa. "It has been on the high priority list of the Ghana Health Service, with the intention to upgrade the Asesewa Health Centre into a district hospital. GE's equipment donations to this health centre couldn't have come at a better time and will really make a difference."

Corcoran said, "Rather than just providing financial support, we are focusing on outcome-giving. We carefully devised a plan to link our product donations and create the greatest opportunity for sustainable impact. By combining GE's wide range of technology, we are bringing together resources that will ensure a complete and sustainable service to the community."

GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified technology, media and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. >From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, television programming, and plastics, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.


General Electric, Fairfield

Linda Boff,