By Tunde Osho
Beer giant Heineken NV has joined forces with Global Fund, a government, civil society and private sector group to fight the spread of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics in Africa.
Heineken said it will provide its expertise in the areas of logistics and communications to support the Global Fund in better reaching specific demographic groups that are most at risk of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
The brewing giant noted that it will pair supply chain experts with logistics planners at the Global Fund to share expertise in demand-forecasting and quality control during shipment. On a local level, the brewer will support efforts in countries in Africa where it already does business to improve the effectiveness of the “last mile” distribution, which focuses on ensuring the proper materials can reach health care facilities and patients in remote areas. It notes this is already taking place in DRC, South Africa and Nigeria.
Through a series of workshops and creative support, Heineken marketers will also provide communications services to the Global Fund to ensure they are reaching the right audience, with the right message at the right time.
“The Global Fund is a strong believer in the power of public-private partnerships in order to accelerate progress,” said Peter Sands, incoming Executive Director of the Global Fund. “We are particularly excited to leverage the expertise of Heineken as we develop innovative tools and approaches that will promote HIV prevention and behaviour change. We also look forward to sharpening our logistics planning skills to better support our implementing partners’ efforts to deliver health services and commodities wherever they are needed. These two efforts are vital to improving health and well-being in Africa.”
“Heineken has been present in Africa for over 100 years, and saw first-hand the severity of the AIDS epidemic on communities. We provided employees with voluntary testing for HIV and treatment for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria among others from the start,” said Jean-François van Boxmeer, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Heineken.
“We continue to do this today and recognize there is still a lot to do. Evolving our partnership with the Global Fund will allow us to work together in order to end these epidemics in Africa. We greatly respect the work the Global Fund supports and we look forward to extending our partnership.”
Heineken is currently a member of the Private Sector Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund. Heineken medical doctors have been involved in the Country Coordinating Mechanisms that direct the Global Fund financing of country programs in DRC and Burundi. The new partnership will expand the geographical scope of activities.