Organisations need to engage
Thanks to our advanced healthcare and social security system, we in Switzerland already have this access and financial security. We have the means to protect ourselves against malaria and child and maternal mortality. We also have the means to get involved in improving people’s wellbeing in other countries with less well developed healthcare systems. Organisations wanting to help work for global health have a number of options to choose from. Pharmaceutical companies, medical research institutes and universities are at the source, so to speak, and can target research efforts to develop specific drugs to address these areas of disease. Drug companies can do a lot to influence not only R&D, but how their products are distributed. They can sell drugs at a lower price, or even donate part of their production for free, in countries hit by poverty. Hospitals also have the option of donating medicines or medical equipment.
Besides funding drugs and equipment, education is the second key to improving health around the world. Schools, public authorities and institutions can do targeted educational work. A whole range of methods, from talking directly to children in schools to launching campaigns or providing free advisory services, can help prevent the further spread of diseases such as AIDS or reduce substance abuse. Schools should be seeking exchange with other schools in developing countries. Teachers in this country can educate children in developing countries by spending a limited period teaching in a school there. Hospitals also have the means to send experts to share their medical know-how in developing countries.
Organisations that don’t have specific resources such as drugs or medical expertise have other ways of getting involved. There are many charities and foundations that depend on financial support to help set up advanced healthcare systems in developing countries.
Whether you provide medicines, do research, provide education or donate funds, you should make sure people know about it. Provided you communicate your involvement appropriately, it can work to the benefit of your company as well as the common good. Whatever you do, you should make sure your efforts feature clearly in your company profile. Pharmaceutical companies can advertise by publicising that they have donated part of the revenues from a drug to charity. It’s a good idea for schools to tell parents, the authorities and the local community about their involvement in the form of flyers and posters or at joint events. A positive side-effect is that other people might be encouraged to get involved as well. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of the social media either: organisations of all sorts can post information on their involvement. Regular blog posts on your website are another way of keeping people informed. The key is to send out a clear signal that you’re working for a healthier world.