Bayer is an international chemical and healthcare company. Bayer is represented by some 350 companies employing 117,500 people on all continents (as of June 30, 2003). The cornerstones of its business activities are in Europe, North America and the Far East.
HIV/AIDS prevention programme at Bayer Brazil
Belford Roxo is one of Bayer's largest production sites in Latin America. The city located near Rio de Janeiro is one of the poorest in Brazil and has one of the country's largest child populations. In addition it has some of the worst social problems in the country. Since the early 1990s, Bayer has been actively putting Corporate Social Responsibility into practice in Belford Roxo.
As part of Bayer's Vai a Comunidade [Bayer goes into the Community] social responsibility programme, there is a major, community-based project for the prevention of infectious and contagious diseases and for oral health. Every month, Bayer's Corporate Communication section, in partnership with Femab (Municipal Federation of the Associations of Residents of Belford Roxo), visits schools, crèches and community centres and puts on music shows, where leaflets on these diseases are distributed before the presentations. Information does not exclusively focus on AIDS, but AIDS prevention plays an important role in the program.
During the intervals in the show, there are rounds of questions dealing with the meaning of the acronym, means of transmission, symptoms and methods of prevention. By reading the information, the young visitors, the main target of the event, can answer the questions. If the answer is correct they are rewarded with gifts from the Company, such as singlets, towels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.
By the end of 2002, almost 500,000 people had benefited from Bayer's social commitment, which next to disease prevention comprises education, projects for street children and environmental aspects. Belford Roxo is a city with 600,000 inhabitants.
BAYER GOES INTO THE COMMUNITY - LEAFLET ON AIDS
What is it?
AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, caused by the HIV virus, which attacks the body's defences, allowing diseases such as tuberculosis, syphilis, etc. to develop.
Help for people infected with HIV in Africa
Partnership with the Sant' Egidio DREAM project
Bayer is helping to ensure that people with HIV in Africa can receive specific therapy for their condition and that further transmission of the infection is prevented. The company is supplying diagnostic systems and services for the DREAM project (Drug Enhancement Resource Against AIDS and Malnutrition) which is being run by the Community of Sant' Egidio in Rome.
Sant' Egidio is a charitable, non-governmental organization which is working with local authorities and volunteers in Mozambique to set up care and therapy programs throughout the country. Bayer is supplying the project with analytical systems capable of quantifying the burden of HIV infection (VERSANT® HIV-1 RNA 3.0 assay, bDNA) and monitoring therapy in HIV patients (TRUGENE® HIV-1 genotyping assay). The company will also be offering scientific and technical collaboration, plus initial and ongoing training for the healthcare professionals working on the project. DREAM is based on the HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) concept recommended by leading HIV experts, the aim of which is to suppress viral replication and stop the HIV infection from progressing. The intention is to use Mozambique as a base for expanding this joint aid and qualification program to other countries in Africa.
"The involvement of Bayer HealthCare in the DREAM project is a significant factor in the battle to overcome the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. It underlines the company's high level of social responsibility," commented Dr. Susanne Ceffa, who manages the Community of Sant' Egidio's biology lab. "We anticipate that, by 2006, some 60,000 people will have benefited from these tests to determine viral load and resistance."
The World Health Report 2004 issued by the World Health Organization states that one in twelve adults in Africa is infected with HIV/AIDS. In 2003, two-thirds of all the people infected with HIV/AIDS were living in Africa. Nine out of ten HIV-positive individuals in sub-Saharan Africa are not aware that they are infected. HIV/AIDS has rapidly reduced life expectancy in this region below its already poor level: in the late 1980s it was 49 years, but by 2005 it will have dropped to just under 46 years.
The Community of Sant' Egidio was founded in the Roman church of the same name in 1968. It is a community of currently more than 40,000 lay people recognized by the Holy See. This not-for-profit organization is dedicated to solidarity and charity worldwide.
Tuberculosis: A new therapy for an old disease
In October 2005, Bayer HealthCare and the international product development partnership the Global Alliance for tb Drug Development (TB Alliance) signed an agreement concerning a clinical study program aimed at investigating whether Bayer's antibiotic moxifloxacin (Avalox®) can significantly reduce the current six-month duration of treatment for tuberculosis. About 2,500 tuberculosis patients on four continents will be admitted to the study program. Should the trials prove successful, plans call for the Bayer product to be made available to patients in developing countries at affordable prices. Phase III of the study is scheduled to be completed in 2010.
Bayer promotes the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets that provide effective protection against deadly mosquito bites. The company supports aid organizations such as the Red Cross, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, USAID, Population Services and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by making available these protective mosquito nets and the necessary insecticide impregnation sets. Donations are supplemented by comprehensive information and education projects.
In order to develop new vector control solutions to help protect against malaria, Bayer has been appointed as a potential partner in a public-private partnership project that has received US$ 50.7 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.