Healthcare News

Business Delivers As Front-Line Player In The Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS, TB And Malaria

April 07, 2017

From an initiative that's reaching 3.5 million people threatened by TB to a massive expansion of access to cheap anti-malaria medication in 24 African countries, businesses are doing work that is complementing the global health work of governments and international agencies. The companies behind this work are getting together with governments and non-profits on June 8 to recognize what's working best, and to focus on doing more in the fight against global epidemics.

President Bush's successful PEPFAR program regarded private sector engagement as critical to its success. And Obama administration efforts like the Global Health Initiative are taking this one step further, explicitly engaging business and tapping private sector assets and expertise to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of government programs to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

Eight companies will receive GBC's Awards for Excellence in Business Action at a rare gathering of international leaders, joining corporations, governments and international agencies around a common objective, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the heads of the WHO, UNAIDS, PEPFAR and the Global Fund, U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, top CEOs, recording star and activist Annie Lennox and PSI Board member Ashley Judd. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also will be honored for her commitment and leadership in the creation of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President's Malaria Initiative and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

The standard-setting programs by the NBA, sanofi-aventis, Eli Lilly & Company, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and NetsforLife, a partnership among The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, ExxonMobil and Standard Chartered Bank, are part of a broader global movement in which governments, international organizations, civil society and companies are aligning strategies and actions on the frontlines of the fight.

"Governments and non-profits can't do it alone. The private sector needs to step up now to avert tragedy, and use what we know about how to join the forces of business with governments and non-profits to make the health of people sustainable over the long term," said GBC President and CEO John Tedstrom. "Coalition members - and these exemplary companies in particular - have done so much that has built momentum in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, for people and communities around the world. We need more companies to do the same."

"Fighting global diseases requires innovation, commitment and collaboration. It takes more than one scientist, one government or one company to tackle the health challenges people are facing today. Business, government and civil society must pool their resources, expertise and reach to positively impact global health," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and co-chairman of the Coalition's Board of Directors. "We salute these private sector leaders who are joining together to improve health and foster economic development around the world."

After many years of working on the periphery, business is now playing a pivotal role in the fight. This major shift has been gaining momentum over the past five to seven years, as governments, international organizations, non-profits and the private sector join forces to align strategies and actions in global health.

In March, GBC brought together the Obama administration's top global health leaders - including Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; Admiral Tim Ziemer, Coordinator of the President's Malaria Initiative and Amie Batson, USAID Deputy Asst. Administrator for Global Health - with top corporate leaders to begin to align strategies and identify how business capabilities and assets can support GHI implementation. And in May, GBC and other business leaders contributed to a White House panel on the new U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy - where the Obama administration is also pro-actively incorporating business guidance and actions.

Building on that momentum, the June 8 awards dinner will culminate a two-day conference focused on improving the effectiveness and impact of collaboration on global health. Participants will include skilled practitioners and innovative thinkers from the worlds of economic development, global health and academia.

Among those who will be leading the conference discussions and defining partnership opportunities:

- The Secretary-General of the United Nations
- The heads of the WHO, UNAIDS and the Global Fund
- Annie Lennox, musician and activist
- Ashley Judd, Population Services International Board Member
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
- The CAO of The Coca-Cola Company
- The CEO of (RED)
- The CEO of Nigeria's Access Bank
- The CEO of the Brink's Company
- The CEO of Amadeus North America
- Executives from Standard Chartered Bank
- The current and previous heads of PEPFAR, and the head of PMI
- USAID's lead for the Global Health Initiative

2010 GBC Awards for Excellence in Business Action

Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Leadership: NBA/WNBA
By leveraging the remarkable reach of its brand and the star power of its players, and advancing innovative models for joint action across sectors, the NBA has been an extraordinary leader in the corporate fight to end disease. It's commitment matched with impact-the company's programs and partnerships have helped protect the lives of millions of people around the planet. The NBA and the WNBA are at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria- whether it's co-founding the Nothing But Nets campaign-which has deployed more than three million anti-malaria bed nets to people in need-or educating young people about HIV/AIDS prevention at its Basketball without Borders camps through partnerships with Hoops 4 Hope and other organizations. And it spreads its message through media, as it did in 2007 when it partnered with GBC, HBO and the Kaiser Family Foundation to create an Emmy Award-winning PSA promoting HIV testing.

Community Investment: Eli Lilly & Company
The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, Lilly's flagship CSR project, is raising awareness about the symptoms of and treatment for TB among people in northwest China-a region that is at an elevated risk for TB infection due to higher-than-average rates of poverty. The Partnership's three-pronged approach in Qinghai targets school children, healthcare professionals and the community as a whole. To reach primary and middle school students, the company worked with the Qinghai Center for Disease Control to train 9,000 teachers on TB prevention and treatment. The teachers integrated that training into their lesson plans, ultimately reaching more than 100,000 students. An additional 500 health workers were reached using a proven training of trainer's model. The initiative also trained 60 community leaders from key minority groups in the area-including the Tibetan, Buddhist and Muslim communities - reaching minority groups that prefer to receive health information from their own leaders. It's estimated that, in total, 3.5 million people benefit from the community investment program.

Core Competence: Sanofi-aventis
The sanofi-aventis ASAQ partnership is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that blends the core competence of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer with non-profit financing - a major change in the way low-cost anti-malarial treatments are developed. Through this partnership model, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) brought financing to sanofi-aventis, which developed the new low-cost anti-malarial drug. Sanofi-aventis leveraged its core competencies, including those in drug development, regulatory affairs, drug manufacturing, marketing and commercial operations, to create a new anti-malaria treatment that was not only developed in an extremely short time-frame-three years-but costs just a dollar for adults and 50 cents for children. This is the first WHO-qualified anti-malarial drug to be developed through a public-private partnership - and was done on an entirely pro-bono basis by sanofi-aventis.

Workplace: Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd.
Newmont's workplace HIV/AIDS and malaria programs in Ghana stand out for both their comprehensive coverage-reaching employees and their families as well as contractors working with the company-and for their integrated approach to disease-prevention. The program takes HIV/AIDS and malaria education and screening out of their silos and integrates them into broader healthcare and safety services. The impact has been deep. For example, before the start of the malaria program in 2006, about 8% of employees suffered from malaria each year. In 2009, that number dropped to 1.8%. Newmont's efforts have proved so successful that in 2007, the International Finance Corporation gave the company an $81,000 grant to scale up the program in partnership with Ghana Health Services.

Women and Girls: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The Boehringer Ingelheim "Women Living Positive" program is exceptional for the innovative way in which it's helping HIV-positive American women of diverse racial/ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to take control of their own health and build stronger, supportive bonds with each other. A series of seven summits across the country brought together more than 650 HIV-positive women along with local AIDS Service Organizations and leaders from the HIV/AIDS community, such as Andrea Williams, the inspiration for the HBO original movie, "Life Support." The summits addressed critical gender-related behavior gaps and issues identified through a baseline survey (conducted in English and Spanish) of diverse HIV-positive women in partnership with The Well Project. The "Women Living Positive" model serves as an exceptional way to empower women living with HIV to build stronger bonds. Boehringer Ingelheim also generated awareness through the media as a core component of the initiative.

Partnership: NetsforLife: The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation/ExxonMobil/Standard Chartered Bank
NetsforLife is an extraordinary action model, not only for its ability to distribute bed nets quickly and efficiently, but also for its focus on instilling a "net culture" in 17 malaria-endemic African countries-that is, a culture wherein sleeping under a bed net is the norm. The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, ExxonMobil and Standard Chartered Bank provided co-financing and strategic planning for the partnership, and also helped to publicize NetsforLife's activities, raising awareness about the initiative. The partnership collaborates closely with national malaria programs to train and mobilize thousands of volunteers, who in turn distribute bed nets and teach people how and why to use them and how to recognize malaria symptoms. To date, NetsforLife had distributed over two million bed nets and trained nearly 10,000 volunteers.

GBC also commended the following companies for their outstanding corporate programs:

Community Investment:
- Heineken Africa Foundation and Bayer

Core Competence:
- Standard Bank
- L'Oreal China

- Diageo, Heineken International & Unilever Partnership

- Lonmin Plc
- Accor
- Heineken International

- Source
Global Business Coalition