The Global Health Initiative (GHI) was established to catalyze public-private partnerships in health toward the goal of managing and eradicating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in target populations at regional, national and international levels. These diseases continue to ravage the world with 40 million people infected with HIV, 2 billion people carrying TB, and 3 million people dying of malaria every year. In 2004, Ketchum was asked to develop communications strategies that ultimately enrolled more than 230 WEF members and other global stakeholders in the GHI mission. The WEF is Ketchum’s largest pro bono relationship.
Ketchum helped the WEF create a global business survey, disease management guidelines, message development, and a framework for a network of global healthcare communicators to quickly and effectively deliver information to influential figures in the media, business and NGO communities. Through a multifaceted campaign to engage hard-to-reach populations, Ketchum has spearheaded such innovative efforts as the Supply Chain Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa, which assists corporations in protecting their supply chains against HIV/AIDS; the China Health Alliance workplace program, which educates, tests, treats, and supports Chinese company employees at risk of TB and HIV/AIDS; and the India TB Alliance, which engages companies in TB control inside a country where one-fifth of new cases of TB occur globally.
The GHI reached out to approximately 4 million individuals through the India Business Alliance and some 50,000 people through the sub-Saharan Africa pilot – including family and dependents of employees – with the potential to reach 1 million people. At Volkswagen Brazil alone, an HIV/AIDS workplace program reduced annual HIV/AIDS expenses by 70% and cut the number of employees hospitalized for the disease by 95%.