10 October 2012

Africa: GBCHealth Releases New Study Highlighting Best Practices

press release

New York, Ny — GBCHealth released a study today that compares a wide range of corporate-run malaria programs and identifies key characteristics that the best programs share.

The report found that the most successful malaria programs were managed by highly-skilled teams of specialists, received strong support, advocacy and resources from corporate management and delivered healthcare services directly.

GBCHealth launched the report, Leading Practice in Malaria Control, with Sentinel Consulting, which conducted the study and analyzed data from 18 programs run by 10 companies. The programs spanned Africa, Asia and South America. Rio Tinto, a mining company with malaria control programs, commissioned the report.

The report was launched in Johannesburg at GBCHealth's Oct. 9-12 conference, The Road to Malaria Elimination 2020: Investment and Beyond, which features some of the world's top-malaria experts, senior African government leaders and companies working to combat malaria among their employees and communities. Economic losses due to malaria amount to $12 billion a year in Africa due to lost productivity, absenteeism, premature deaths, medical costs and other factors.

"There's no 'one size fits all' among corporate malaria programs," said Pam Bolton, Vice President, Membership and Advisory Services at GBCHealth. "But the best programs share common features. This report is intended to help companies implement successful malaria control programs."

"We interviewed company malaria program managers operating in diverse and challenging situations around the world," said Naomi Roberts, Lead Consultant for Sentinel Consulting. "The passion, drive and effectiveness that we found underlies the key role the private sector plays in ongoing efforts to combat this deadly disease."

The survey compared corporate malaria programs across businesses and regions to identify what works best. The most successful programs, regardless of their setting, size or budget, showed common features.

They include:

  • The company justifies investments in the malaria program as an expression of corporate social responsibility, not just a means to improve workforce operations and productivity.
  • Malaria program managers are given a narrow focus, limited to malaria or vector-borne or infectious diseases, rather than comprehensive health or safety.
  • The company delivers healthcare services directly rather than via referral. The use of company health facilities can assure accurate diagnosis and treatment and enable a company to assess awareness levels, record case numbers and provide follow up.
  • Highly-skilled specialists manage the programs and have access to physicians and entomologists for advice and support.
  • Program managers receive strong support, advocacy and resources from their corporate medical directors.
  • Beginning at an early stage of development, the programs establish strong communication and collaboration both inside and outside the company, ranging from reaching employees and their families to consulting with government officials.
  • A company that provides resources to keep staff and their families healthy, "earns the right," in the eyes of the community it cares for, to influence and change health behaviors.

About GBCHealth

GBCHealth represents over 200 private sector companies leading the business fight for improved global health. Through work that includes developing comprehensive workplace policies; supporting community programs; leveraging core competencies; facilitating leadership and advocacy by business leaders; and brokering public-private partnerships, GBCHealth helps members achieve their global health goals. GBCHealth manages the private sector delegation to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, serving as an entry-point for corporate collaboration and engagement with the Fund and its recipients worldwide. It also manages the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa. GBCHealth has offices in New York, Johannesburg, Beijing, Nairobi and Moscow. For more information on GBCHealth, please visit www.gbchealth.org

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