Our Priorities > Supporting Patients and Consumers Educating Patients and Health Care Professionals
In Shanghai, operators have been trained to answer consumer questions about our nutrition products with the most up-to-date information.
In developing nations, some of the most important work we do supporting patients and consumers involves training and educating local health care providers to address gaps in the quality and quantity of health care services.
In India, for example, our specially trained local field force helps rural health care providers stay abreast of current disease developments, and our two-day Train the Trainers program keeps India’s top physicians up-to-date on treatments for the most common infectious diseases. We have also partnered with the Indian Epilepsy Society to develop a program that trains health care workers to screen for and treat epilepsy, a condition that often goes untreated in India.
To advance understanding of the latest tools and techniques in cardiac care, Abbott’s Crossroads training centers offer training and education courses for health care providers in coronary, endovascular and structural heart interventions. In addition to facilities in Brussels, Tokyo and Johannesburg, Abbott recently opened a Crossroads Institute in Shanghai, China, where nearly 1,000 health care professionals and instructors are expected to participate in training sessions in 2012.
Similarly, in both Vietnam and China, the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) offers an innovative model for advancing understanding and practice of clinical nutrition, helping to integrate nutrition training into local medical and nursing school curricula. We established AFINS in 2007 in partnership with Project HOPE and Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, expanding it to Vietnam in 2010, in partnership with Boston University, Bach Mai Hospital, the National Institute of Nutrition and Hanoi Medical University. AFINS is just one part of Abbott’s broader outreach efforts to strengthen nutritional science, testing and practices in developing nations. AFINS China has already trained almost 800 physicians and nearly 400 nurses and dietitians. In Vietnam, the program has helped integrate nutrition education into the curriculum at local medical schools, leading to the creation of sound nutritional guidelines for hospitals.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, where dehydration is the leading cause of death in children under five years old, Abbott has established Pedialyte Rehydration Centers in hospitals. These rehydration centers are dedicated spaces for treating diarrhea or vomiting problems and the resulting dangerous dehydration. The rehydration centers feature refrigerators stocked with our Pedialyte 60 formula, which is specifically designed for the replacement of fluids and electrolytes in the management of dehydration. The centers also provide parents with discharge kits that contain a sample bottle of Pedialyte, along with an information booklet advising parents on proper prevention and treatment of diarrhea. With plans to open 65 rehydration centers across Mexico, Abbott hopes to be able to treat approximately 6,500 children per month. Beyond treating patients and educating families, the rehydration centers also serve as locations for physician workshops on rehydration management and the importance of rapidly treating diarrhea symptoms among pediatric patients.
In Russia, meantime, Abbott recently collaborated with the Russian Liver Research Society on a comprehensive educational campaign to improve the detection of early-stage liver disease. Called Test Yourself, the campaign was designed to educate citizens in the Moscow region about the risk factors for liver disease and offered free testing services – thanks to our laboratory partner INVITRO – for anyone who qualified. Early results from the campaign conclusively demonstrated the value of such a proactive testing initiative. Of the 5,000 Muscovites who were tested through the campaign, approximately one-third tested positive for some form of liver disease. This early diagnosis of hepatitis and other liver conditions may ultimately have saved the lives of patients who previously were unaware that they faced any liver problems. Based on the success of this initial program, we rolled out the second phase of the Test Yourself campaign throughout five additional Russian cities – Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen and Krasnodar – and we plan to extend the effort to five more cities in early 2013.
Note: All data in the Global Citizenship section reflects activities prior to the separation of Abbott and AbbVie on January 1, 2013.