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EXAMPLES OF EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE TB

CEPHEID:

PUBLIC AWARENESS RAISING

Cepheid is a molecular diagnostics company that manufactures the GeneXpert platform used widely around the world to diagnose TB and some strains of drug-resistant TB. Cepheid joined EWTB on World TB Day 2021.

 

In 2021, Cepheid have focused their efforts around public awareness of TB, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa and Zambia they partnered with Miss South Africa, a TB survivor and advocate, to raise awareness of the disease and highlight that it is not - as commonly thought - a disease that only affects people living in poverty. They also collaborated with National TB Programmes in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya , running TB screening campaigns in high-burden areas where there is high potential that people aren't being diagnosed and treated.

 

Cepheid's model involves partnering where possible with local organisations, national TB programmes, experts, survivors groups, and advocates and uses their resources and technical expertise to enhance the efforts of these partners.

Find out more about Cepheid here.

FREEPORT-MCMORAN:

CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

Freeport-McMoRan is one of the world's biggest mining companies and have operations across the world, including in Papua, Indonesia, which has extremely high rates of TB. Freeport-McMoRan joined EWTB on World TB Day 2021.

 

To ensure that their workforce and the surrounding community is as health as possible, Freeport-McMoRan operates a comprehensive health system, which includes extensive TB programming. Workers have access to a full range of health services, including screening and access to rapid diagnosis and treatment if they are ill with TB. The workers incur no costs from receiving treatment.

 

Of course, infectious diseases go far beyond the workplace. The environment in which people live can also have a major impact. In an effort to raise the standard of healthcare for their community, Freeport-McMoRan also runs clinics in the local community, and any member of the community can come to the health clinics 'inside the fence' (on the grounds of the mining operation) and receive free point-of-care treatment.

 

The programme is operated by Freeport-McMoRan's partner: International SOS. Find out more about Freeport-McMoRan and InternationalSoS by clicking on the links.

ICON:TACKLING TB STIGMA

ICON (formerly PRA Health Sciences) is a clinical research organisation with 38,000 employees worldwide. They EWTB on World TB Day 2021.

 

ICON took a multi-track approach to tackling TB in its workforce, including through dedicated programming to tackle TB stigma - which can have a significant impact on how quickly people seek care and treatment if they are feeling unwell.

 

One innovative approach ICON led was to integrate conversations around TB stigma into company diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings, as an example of a potential driver of discrimination in the workplace. To our knowledge, no other company has taken this approach.

 

As a result of mainstreaming conversations around TB stigma into the work of the DEI group, functional managers will be trained health-related stigma associated with TB and other disease states in order to promote inclusivity.

 

In recognition that TB stigma requires a multi-faceted approach, ICON also hosted an awareness event for its employees, featuring a TB survivor and patient advocate, as well as an Infectious Disease medical director focused on TB. The session was well attended by hundreds of employees, and was recorded and made available to every member of their workforce around the world. The opportunity to engage with TB experts and patients  is one intervention that has been consistently found to help reduce stigma - giving the disease a human face.

 

ICON's work on TB stigma is an excellent example of how a company has implemented a health issue into other aspects of its company agenda.

Find out more about ICON here.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON:

ENGAGING SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) is a multinational company that develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods.

 

J&J has been one of the global corporate leaders in the fight against TB, and in 2019 engaged with a select list of their suppliers around workplace TB. J&J conducted trainings with an initial group of six suppliers, focusing on issues such as how TB is spread, how to prevent it, and the economic impact of the disease.

 

Following the trainings, EWTB and J&J collaborated to support the suppliers in taking steps to improve their own TB care and prevention policies.

 

This strategy of working with suppliers with footprints in high TB burden areas is an effective way of using J&J's existing relationships to enhance TB care and prevention around the world.

 

As a result of the success of the first round of trainings, J&J Is looking to expand the programme to cover a greater number of suppliers and ultimately, help more people access high-quality TB care and prevention.

Find out more about J&J here.

OTSUKA:

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS

Otsuka is a Japanese company with companies operating in a range of different sectors, they have been an Ending Workplace TB member since March 2021. 

For almost a decade, Otsuka Indonesia (PTOI) has been donating high-protein nutritional supplements across nationwide to patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).  PTOI works with healthcare staff specifically to improve patients’ nutrition by donating the food supplement PROTEN GOLD, which is a nutritional supplement for malnourished patients who need important minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates to boost their health.

This nutrition supplement is substantial as most MDR-TB patients have either mild or severe forms of malnourishment. Patients can become malnourished to the extent that their bodyweight goes below 40 kg. Various studies have shown the importance of supporting patients with nutritional counselling and food supplements.

Last year, PTOI began providing hand sanitiser too and surgical masks in order to help patients feel confident to continue travelling to hospitals for their vital TB treatment – during the Covid-19 pandemic. PTOI made its most recent donation on 4 December, last year, working with SEMAR, an organisation for TB survivors in central Java.

In recent years, the locations for dietary supplement support from PTOI have included: east Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.

You can find out more about Otsuka here.

OXFORD IMMUNOTEC:

ADVANCING TB EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY

Oxford Immunotec is a global diagnostics company and a leader in solutions for T cell measurement. The company's leading product, the T-SPOT.TB test, aids in the diagnosis of latent TB infection by measuring T cell activation. On World TB Day 2021, Oxford Immunotec joined EWTB on behalf of the PerkinElmer family of companies.

 

Early detection and treatment of latent TB infection plays a critical role in ending the global epidemic of TB. Oxford Immunotec is involved in a number of education and advocacy initiatives aimed at shedding new light on what is often characterized as an "invisible" and isolating disease.

 

The company has organised a range of events throughout the year – many of them free of charge – that offer attendees the chance to learn about the latest developments in TB. Further, the company has amplified the stories of TB survivors, whose unique experiences highlight the critical importance of accurate diagnostics and life-saving treatment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxford Immunotec teamed up with TB experts to highlight the negative impact of the pandemic on TB services, including routine testing, and is now using its global platform to advocate for increased testing moving forwards.

Find out more about Oxford Immunotec here.

QIAGEN:

TB INFECTION SCREENING AND CARE

QIAGEN is a provider of sample and assay technologies for molecular diagnostics, applied testing, academic and pharmaceutical research. They have been an EWTB member since World TB Day 2021. They have collaborated with Santé En Entreprise (SEE), a French non-governmental organisation and a partner of EWTB.

 

In May 2019, QIAGEN and SEE signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate to tackle TB infection in the workplace. Since then, they have run a wide range of events and activities focused on building awareness of TB infection and reducing TB in the workplace.

 

In particular, they have integrated TB testing into SEE's package of multi-disease screening that it offers to companies in West and Central Africa through visits from mobile screening units.

 

The project focuses on engaging HR manager and occupational health doctors from companies, informing them about TB, and the cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies. As a result, several companies have joined the project with annual screenings and the Cote D'Ivoire National TB Program has requested funding to support the long-term sustainability of the project.

 

On World TB Day 2021, the partners worked with five major companies to screen their workers for TB infection. People found positive were given counselling via their company's occupational health doctor, to ensure appropriate follow-up and preventive treatment if necessary.

Find out more about Qiagen here.

SIBANYE-STILLWATER

TACKLING TB/HIV CO-INFECTION

Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational precious metals mining company with operations across Africa and the Americas. Sibanye joined EWTB on World TB Day 2021.

 

Mines, particularly gold mines, in South Africa, had some of the highest rates of TB in the world in the first decade of the 2000s. Much of this TB was underpinned by occupational exposure to silica dust, which can increase rates of TB, and very high rates of HIV among mining employees.

The access to treatment to target therapies aimed at viral suppression coupled with retention on HIV treatment programmes outcomes steadily improved over the years, and an affiliated significant drop in the TB infection rates has been achieved and sustained.

 

In response to the HIV epidemic and accompanying deaths from TB, Sibanye-Stillwater and its peer companies in the Southern African mining sector implemented advanced health programming, starting with screening and treatment for people living with HIV. Subsequent advances included high-quality primary care, access to rapid TB testing and treatment, and preventive therapy. Employees diagnosed with TB have social protection while on treatment, where this involves the prevention or alleviation of poverty or susceptibility to poverty by enhancing the capacity of individuals to protect themselves against hazards, treatment interruption, and loss of income.

 

All employees are granted social protection in the form of paid sick leave and support to complete TB treatment post-employment, including neighbouring South Africa Countries such as Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, etc.

VVF LIFE SCIENCES:

SUPPORTING PATIENTS IN THE WORKPLACE

VVF Life Sciences is a contract manufacturer with offices around the world. VVF South Africa Is a member of Ending Workplace TB and joined on World TB Day 2021.

 

Around 50% of Its employee base is drawn from townships where rates of TB are very high.

 

In order to make TB treatment as easy as possible for any worker who might develop active TB, VVF is working with local health clinics to meet the criteria necessary to administer TB treatment in the workplace to any worker who has the disease.

 

As TB treatment can take many months, a period during which some people affected by TB can still work, workplace treatment is a powerful way to make it as easy as possible for people to continue to work whilst completing treatment. This is for two reasons:

 

1. Workers don't have to travel to the local clinic to pick up their medications, but instead can pick them up and take them at work under the supervision of an occupational health nurse.

 

2. Offering TB treatment on site is a clear message to the worker that their employer is prepared to support them through TB treatment. This helps to tackle stigma which is important to achieving the best possible healthcare outcomes.

Find out more about VVF Life Sciences here.

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(c) 2022 - Ending Workplace TB