CSR initiatives should always come from a company’s core competencies. In the case of AstraZeneca (Thailand), its initiatives have enabled deeper education on respiratory issues, and has helped save lives.
Words from the winner
AstraZeneca (Thailand) Limited
Breathing With Care
Committed to the good health of Thailand.
AstraZeneca (AZT) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. Its core focus is on the research and development of treatments in oncology, cardiovascular, renal, metabolism and respiratory. The company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. It has operations in over 100 countries, with its innovative medicine used by millions of patients globally. Its Thai operations, AstraZeneca (Thailand) Limited (AZT) was established on November 21 1983 and is based in Bangkok.
As part of AZT’s ongoing commitment to improving the health of the people of Thailand, AZT is continually identifying relevant issues which can help it invest back to the community. In 2017, with 17,347 reported deaths caused by asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), 30 percent were found to have originated from Bangkok and the northern provinces in Region 1 which include Chiangmai, Chiang rai, Lampoon, Mae Hong Son, Prae, Nan and Phayao. In recognition of the increasing prevalence of asthma and COPD, AZT helped alleviate the substantial burden of patients, family members/caregivers, healthcare resources and economic productivity through the Healthy Lung Programme. Essentially a sustainability programme, the Healthy Lung Programme aims to strengthen health systems, to improve healthcare capabilities, infrastructure, accessibility and the quality of healthcare. It is a regional initiative that is tailored and developed for nine countries in the Asian region, and was developed primarily to ensure that all people living with respiratory diseases have the chance to live healthier lives and experience the best possible care.
Hence, in 2018, AZT successfully secured the support of top level government, policy makers, and medical associations, and formed a national taskforce to launch Healthy Lung Thailand. The program aims to support the Ministry of Public Health’s five year National Strategic Program on Service Excellence of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (2017-2021). Its goal is to reduce premature death from non-communicable diseases by 25 percent. The company also partners with the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand, Ministry of Public Health, Health and Medical Services Department, Department of Medical Service, The Allergy, Asthma, Immunology Association of Thailand (AAIAT), Pediatric Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Association (PRCA), and Thai Society of Clinical Oncology (TSCO) to raise awareness of respiratory and lung cancer to the public, as well as providing continual learning and training programs to health care professionals.
In 2018, through its collaborative partnerships and education, AZT increased the community’s awareness of the non-communicable diseases and helped patients obtain better treatment outcomes through early symptom detection, disease management and treatment intervention. In 2018 alone, AZT efforts included providing free lung function tests (spirometry/peak flow meter) to 600 patients through patient health clubs. The intiative resulted in a 12 percent increase in patients seeking asthma and COPD treatment.
In addition, the company established 40 nebulization centers in clinics and hospitals, and donated 105 units of nebulization station across 14 cities/provinces. The company also contributed 500 units of home nebulizer units for children suffering from asthma.
The Healthy Lung programme also seeks to strengthen healthcare capabilities through the training and development of healthcare professionals, improving medical infrastructure and policy advocacy to better respond to respiratory patients. From July to December 2018, the program supported 9,320 medical professionals nationwide through continuous medical training sessions and up-to-date medical information on diagnosis, treatment and management. Positive outcomes have been registered since the programme’s launch in 2018. A six-month comparative result recorded an increase of 20.4 percent of registered patients seeking treatment.