Moving Beyond In-kind Donations to Strategic Investments
On November 11, 2013, the one millionth HIV rapid test donated by Alere landed on the ground in Zimbabwe. PSI’s partnership with Alere formally began on World AIDS Day 2011, when Alere committed to helping us provide greater access to HIV testing to underserved populations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Alere provided 1 million free HIV tests that have been deployed in 10 countries via our health service structures, including social franchises and community health workers. We have also collaborated on a number of HIV awareness and advocacy events in Zambia, touring the country with our Global Ambassador, actor and activist Debra Messing. We have also recognized Alere’s contributions to the HIV community through our Impact Awards, which celebrate distinguished men and women who have helped make progress in the global AIDS response.
Since then, Alere and PSI have undertaken two fellowships spanning from Washington, D.C. to Latin America and Southern Africa. In 2015, two Alere Fellows used their expertise in both HIV testing and workflow management to analyze PSI’s work in linkages and referrals. Their findings identified several opportunities for improvement in linkage to care in Swaziland. Working closely with PSI, the Alere Fellows developed recommendations on interventions to help close linkage gaps which were then communicated across PSI’s network to help create standardized practices of referrals and linkages. This included a set of tools and procedures to increase the capacity of community health workers and health clinics to ensure more patients are tested and when diagnosed, can be linked to treatment and support for HIV.
In 2016, we embarked upon our second fellowship focusing on developing guidance and tools to implement effective promotional and pricing strategies for the prevention, detection and management of major non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Over a 3-month period, two Alere Fellows travelled between Washington, D.C. and Honduras to work hand-in-hand with staff from PSI’s network member in Latin America, PASMO, to identify barriers our beneficiaries face in addressing NCDs. Through various activities, the team found that a general lack of information and awareness, combined with the inability to pay for services and products, posed a threat to both the client’s health and to the sustainability of the clinic. As a result, the Fellows designed a tiered packaging approach, one that offers clients options in services rendered and flexibility in pricing. They also developed a targeted promotional strategy to heighten awareness of the clinic’s services within the community and surrounding areas.