Corporate TB Pledge Working Group Meeting – 10th December 2019
On December 10th, AMCHAM organized a meeting for members that have signed the Corporate TB Pledge, an initiative of USAID and the Government of India, that promotes workplace programs to create awareness and align CSR for TB activities and to invest in TB workplace programs. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, made opening remarks and mentioned that 32 AMCHAM members had already signed pledge. Mr. Ambrish Bakaya, Co-Chairman – Infrastructure and Smart Cities Committee, AMCHAM and Director Corporate Affairs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, spoke about why HPE decided to sign the pledge at the platinum tier and commit to screening 50,000 patients through their 130 e-health centers across 21 states
Dr. Reuben Swamickan, Division Head of the Tuberculosis and Infectious Diseases Team, USAID/India, said that TB is one of the top 10 causes of death globally and that India is a highest burden country. He emphasized that the TB Pledge was aligned with the GOI’s national strategic plan and U.S. government’s global TB strategy. Dr. Jamie Tonsing, Director-South East Asia, The Union (the organization that provides technical assistance for the TB Pledge) talked about the uniqueness of the pledge and how India is the first country to try something like it. In the seven months since the pledge was launched The Union has tracked that 100,000+ people have been reached every month with TB messages, around 15,000 symptomatic individuals have been referred for TB testing and more than 1,500 patients were diagnosed with TB referred for treatment.
Members were introduced to the resources and materials they would receive based on each tier of the pledge which included: email samples for HR to use while promoting the pledge, TB policy examples, posters, booklets, employee engagement ideas, a guide for CSR and a healthcare provider ready reckoner, among others. There was an interactive session in which companies shared about what their organizations were doing to carry out their pledge commitment and any challenges they faced. Ms. Kris Easter, USAID/India, gave the closing remarks and encouraged companies to discuss the pledge with other corporates. The meeting was hosted by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Gurugram.