Our Priorities > Enhancing Access Addressing National Health Challenges
Since 2007, the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science in China has worked to improve the quality of care delivered to the nation’s children, training almost 800 physicians and nearly 400 nurses and dietitians in clinical nutrition.
Many women in India are unaware of the risks of heart disease and other emerging health challenges. Our True Care office in Mumbai invited employees for an educational Woman’s Day, filled with informative discussions and even some entertaining games based on health facts.
Abbott works to make a positive, enduring difference in the health of people around the world. In 2011, Abbott and the Abbott Fund contributed more than $730 million in grants, product donations, community partnerships and efforts to strengthen health care systems around the world.
In many nations, forging close government partnerships offers the most effective path to enhanced health care access. In developing and developed nations alike, Abbott engages in public-private partnerships that help broaden access to critically needed testing and treatment services.
India, for example, accounts for 38 percent of the world population lacking access to essential medicines. There we work closely with the country's Ministry of Health and with many local governments to help improve delivery of services. Improving India's health care access poses special challenges because 70 percent of the population lives in remote rural and poor urban areas. However, our more than 12,000 Indian employees constitute a strong, dedicated presence, and they are committed to enhancing health care access, even in hard-to-reach communities.
For instance, our True Care business unit brings high-quality and affordable medicines to people in more than 10,000 remote towns and villages. The business takes an innovative approach to developing a sales force – hiring graduates from multiple education backgrounds who have local language skills and ties to the communities they will target. We then provide intensive training to help the sales force conduct education programs on basic diseases. More than 38,000 health care practitioners took part in these programs last year, and we believe that the local ties of our sales force play a critical role in helping advance the quality of care delivered to their neighbors.
Along with its educational efforts, our True Care business has introduced new combination medicines that specifically target local needs, including a new treatment to help treat drug-resistant strains of infectious diseases such as typhoid. Abbott also recently piloted a program at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi for thyroid testing of women in the first trimester of pregnancy. We are now planning to extend that program to several other regional hospitals.
Complementing Abbott's extensive work training health care professionals and partnering with governments in disease diagnosis, treatment and management, we work with community and school groups, patient organizations and the news media to build public awareness about a broad range of health care issues. We also conduct numerous screening programs around the world to help identify patients at risk for specific diseases and refer them to appropriate treatment.
For example, each of our business divisions in India hosts a variety of health camps targeting remote and underserved populations. These camps focus on increasing patient awareness and teaching health care providers the latest diagnostic techniques and treatment practices for such conditions as cardiovascular disease, thyroid disorders, diabetes, pediatric health, nutrition and other aspects of preventive care. To date, our camps have helped train more than 350 medical professionals; donated more than $3.7 million in vitamins, antibiotics, anesthesia and nutritional products; educated 200,000 thyroid disease patients; provided more than 7,400 successful surgeries through medical missions; and screened more than 3,300 people for epilepsy.
Note: All data in the Global Citizenship section reflects activities prior to the separation of Abbott and AbbVie on January 1, 2013.