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GBCHealth Insights: Private Sector Action on NCDs

One year after the landmark United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, GBCHealth is pleased to provide an update on our efforts on NCDs as well as those of our members. From China to Kenya and Moscow, the GBCHealth team is convening forums and virtual meetings with practical information that businesses can implement, launching a social media campaign, developing a suite of technical reports and case studies and sharing best practices on workplace wellness.

In this issue of GBCHealth’s monthly Insights newsletter, we are excited to present a Q&A with Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Chairman of the NCD Alliance. Adams reflects on the role that business is taking on NCDs. Read on for updates on corporate activity and upcoming events on NCDs.

Business & NCDs

Why Non-Communicable Diseases Matter to Business: Interview with Cary Adams

Cary Adams, CEO, Union for International Cancer ControlNon-communicable diseases are on the rise globally, and at an alarming rate. In this Q&A, we speak to Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Chairman of the NCD Alliance. Adams is one of the world’s foremost authorities on NCDs and in this interview he discusses the reasons why NCDs are increasing; their devastating impact on business and economic development; and "best buy" interventions for companies engaged in addressing the NCD problem.

Q. How can the workplace be used as an entry point to improve workers' health and well-being?

A. Workplaces are an ideal space for promoting healthy lifestyles and overall well-being. According to one study, a “healthy” lifestyle in the U.S. working-age population reduced healthcare costs by 49% in adults aged 40 and above. Smoke-free indoor work sites, free or low-cost smoking cessation programs for employees and their families, access to healthy foods, encouraging physical activity, anti-alcohol programs, and stress-reduction measures are critical elements of workplace wellness programs that contribute to overall health and wellbeing.

Read full Q&A here »

Understanding Diabetes in China

Insights from GBCHealth's Pfizer Fellow

From left to right: Lingling Zhu, Diabetes Research Program; Lingfeng Yang, Pfizer Global Health Fellow; Yangfeng Wu, George Institute and Peking University; Puhong Zhang, Diabetes Research ProgramLingfeng Yang, a Pfizer Global Health Fellow, joined GBCHealth's China office in June to work on the GBCHealth China diabetes initiative. Building upon the research of his predecessor, David Marshall, Lingfeng will work with the GBCHealth China team to implement an internet-based social media campaign to build diabetes awareness, hold a forum to explore workplace intervention possibilities in China, and develop a proposal for a workplace training program. He is also developing partnerships with international NGOs and local research institutions for long-term, evidence-based management plans for diabetes in China.

Learn more »

GBCHealth Webinars on Diabetes

Join Us for a Series of Expert Connections Webinars

Diabetes 101 Webinar: The Global Face of the EpidemicGBCHealth has launched a three-part webinar series on diabetes, which will kick off on September 13 with a panel on Diabetes 101: The Global Face of the Epidemic. Speakers from the CDC, Global Diabetes Initiative at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease will provide updates on diabetes in emerging markets, including China, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, along with a look at global partnerships addressing the disease. GBCHealth’s Expert Connections series gives its members access to leading business and global health leaders as well as insights into the latest advances and developments in global health.

Learn more and RSVP for the first of three diabetes webinars »

Tobacco-Free Workplaces: New Partnership Announced in China, Plus Spotlight at CGI

September 7, 2012 | Beijing, China

GBCHealth, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will hold a ceremony today in Beijing to launch the China-United States Partnership on Smoke-free Workplaces. The Partnership aims to establish smoke-free workplaces in the region and is part of a growing international movement among health and business leaders to improve the health of their employees by protecting them from second-hand smoke in the workplace. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Howard Koh and Chinese Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu, along with other high level officials, will address the gathering. Several GBCHealth members will also take part, including Bayer, BD, The Coca-Cola Company, FHI 360, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and

The Global Smoke-free Worksite Challenge (GSWC), in which organizations commit to making their worksites smoke free, will be featured on Monday, September 24 at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. The session, "How can we design healtheir urban environments that help prevent chronic diseases?" will be co-led by GSWC partner, the World Heart Federation. GBCHealth, a signatory of the GSWC, encourages member companies to attend the session.

Learn more »

Trends in the Corporate Response to Non-communicable Diseases

Confronting a Global Epidemic: Corporate Perceptions & Trends in NCD InitiativesFTI Consulting and GBCHealth surveyed and interviewed companies earlier this year to better understand how they view NCDs and what they are doing to address these diseases in their workplaces and communities. The findings of this study are now available in the report, “Confronting a Global Epidemic: Corporate Perceptions & Trends in Non-Communicable Disease Initiatives.” The report also includes recommendations and best practices from existing programs to help companies improve the impact and scope of their corporate NCD programs.

Read the report »

Learn more about the report launch, which included a panel and working session with company representatives who work in NCDs »

Business Action Roundtable on NCDs and Wellness in Africa

September 27, 2012 | Nairobi, Kenya

Educating Workforces in Africa About NCDsNon-communicable diseases (NCDs) are now some of the leading causes of death in Kenya and have a growing impact on healthcare costs and economic development throughout Africa. GBCHealth believes that the private sector can make major contributions in effectively addressing NCDs in Africa. Join us for a workshop that will help companies integrate NCDs into existing workplace programs and help to educate their workforces and communities on how to prevent and treat these diseases. The workshop will also cover how investing in prevention can help reduce healthcare costs and improve workforce productivity while also improving the health and wellbeing of workers and community members.

Read more »

Please Take Our Survey on Your Workplace Wellness Program

Sentinel Consulting has partnered with GBCHealth to conduct research into the current state of corporate wellness programs in low-and middle-income countries. The results of this survey will be published in early 2013 and will be used to highlight and characterize best practices and to create a guide for wellness program custodians.

Does your company have a workplace wellness program? We want to know about it! Please share your experiences with us by filling out a brief online survey (10-20 minutes). For more information, please contact Joya Banerjee at

Corporate Case Studies of the Month: Learn from your Peers

GBCHealth's Case Study of the Month Series Focuses on Corporate NCD InitiativesEach month, GBCHealth publishes a case study highlighting corporate best practices in health engagement. Each case study features sections on critical success factors and lessons learned to help members share and scale up programs that work.

Does your company have an outstanding NCD program? Be sure to email us to have your’s featured in a Case Study of the Month Newsletter.

BMS Foundation Addresses Growing Diabetes Epidemics in China and India

Bristol-Myers SquibbThe Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced a $15 million expansion of its Together on Diabetes initiative to China and India this summer. India and China are both facing fast-growing type 2 diabetes epidemics. The funded projects will help build healthcare capacity to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and pre-diabetes; improve understanding of the epidemics in China and India; develop setting-appropriate diabetes prevention and treatment programs tailored to urban and rural needs; and explore the potential of engaging community health workers in addressing diabetes. Last month, the BMS Foundation announced $1.6 million in grants to four health care institutions to help communities address type 2 diabetes.

Read more »

Medtronic Foundation and Partners in Health Help Low-Income Countries Create NCD Plans

Medtronic Foundation Works with Partners in Health to Address NCDs in RwandaPartners in Health and the Rwandan Healthy Ministry, with the support of the Medtronic Foundation, worked in 2012 to integrate NCD care into the Rwandan health system. Part of this effort included establishing NCD clinics within health centers, where staff was specially trained to diagnose and treat NCDs, which had previously gone undiagnosed and untreated.

The Medtronic Foundation recently awarded a $435,000 grant to Partners in Health to work with the Rwandan Health Ministry to create a team of NCD experts to help other low-income countries develop and implement national NCD plans. The team will start by helping two African nations craft national NCD policies, using Rwanda’s efforts to integrate NCDs across its healthcare platform as a blueprint. The program will then expand, adding two additional African countries and two non-African countries in the second year. Countries will apply for this support.

Read more »

Watch a video about this initiative »

FHI 360 on Incorporating NCDs into its HIV/AIDS Work

FHI360 on its Expansion to Include NCD Services to StakeholdersFHI 360's Peter Lamptey sat down with GBCHealth earlier this year to talk about its roots in family planning and how it broadened its work to include development and other health services, including HIV/AIDS. He addresses how FHI 360 then got involved in NCDs due to the complications its HIV/AIDS patients were experiencing with issues such as cardiovascular disease.

Watch the interview »


Private Sector Opportunities in Health in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is an increasingly important region for many of GBCHealth's member companies and partners. Yet the region’s health landscape is changing, with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) becoming an increasingly urgent issue that warrants the attention of all sectors, including business.

GBCHealth's April 2012 newsletter delves deeply into the specifics of health in the LAC region today. It highlights opportunities for business action and leadership, spotlights innovative health programs that companies are implementing and offers tools for businesses to engage.

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