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Embracing Corporate Social Investment

  Click here for the Aspen Corporate Social Responsibility Profile

Aspen’s basic tenet ‘Healthcare. We care’ guides the Group’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy. Projects are focused strongly on the health sector. HIV/AIDS and primary healthcare take centre stage in line with Aspen’s international standing and recognition as a leading manufacturer of generic anti-retrovirals (ARVs).

Aspen’s has retained its association and continues to provide valued assistance to the Transkei-based Engcobo Clinic, which the Group established and which was opened by former President Nelson Mandela five years ago. Similar support is provided to the Emthonjeni Clinic in the informal Zandspruit settlement outside Johannesburg. Aspen continues to participate in the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, which encourages best-practice in corporates in the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS. For the second year the Group sponsored the Hope Centre in Durban which trains home-based HIV/AIDS caregivers and provides onsite HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and treatment.

Aspen also made an unconditional grant to the SA HIV Clinicians, an association of medical professionals devoted to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, for research and education in this area.

Gavin Wiggill presenting a cheque to Prof Des Martin
former Chairperson of the SA Clinicians Society

Contributing to the upliftment of Communities

In support of the Integrated Community Home Care model established by the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Hospice Palliative Care Association, Aspen supports a number of institutions.

Assistance is provided through financial aid, cost effective procurement of goods, support of community developmental objectives inclusive of skills development-food gardens, computer literacy, youth leadership training, orphans care due to HIV and Aids, home based care and poverty alleviation. Some of Aspen’s beneficiaries include:

Gauteng
Pretoria Sungardens
Tumelong Hospice
Total Control of the Epidemic
Childhood Cancer Foundation
Starfish AIDS Foundation
Free State
Naledi Hospice
Starfish AIDS Foundation
Eastern Cape
St Bernard’s Hospice in East London
The Haven in Port Elizabeth
St Francis Hospice in Port Elizabeth
Eastern Cape Community Chest- “Give as you earn” initiative
Port Elizabeth-based Empilweni Hospital
East London’s House on the Rocks
Starfish AIDS Foundation
KwaZulu Natal
Starfish AIDS Foundation
Mpumalanga
Topsy Sanctuary
Ekhuruleni
Tshepo-Hope Care Centre
Western Cape
MaAfrika Tikkun-Gauteng
Starfish AIDS Foundation
 

Providing healthcare for those in need

In November 2005 Aspen opened the Wells Estate Wellness Centre. This facility, which will provide for enhanced primary healthcare services at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Wells Estate Clinic, is a public-private partnership. The clinic provides for the treatment of chronic diseases and also includes a dental clinic. Once accreditation is secured, the centre will also serve as a fully functional HIV/Aids facility focusing on treatment, counselling, education, home based care, nutrition and administering of ARVs. The Wells Estate Wellness Centre is an extension of Aspen’s efforts to assist in enhancing capacity and providing basic healthcare facilities for underprivileged communities.

Ongoing commitment to education and leadership

Healthcare education and leadership are also emphasised in the Group’s CSI programme. Aspen remains a supporter of The Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang Health Professionals Bursary and the Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, assisting historically disadvantaged students to study medicine, pharmacy and allied professions at tertiary level.

The Group also took up sponsorship of the innovative Friends of Mosvold Trust, which offers bursaries to KwaZulu Natal students who have committed to practice medicine and allied professions in their own communities in the resource-challenged Jozini District.

In addition Aspen continues to offer 15 pharmacy students an industry internship each year to enable them to complete the Post-Basic Pharmacist Assistant Course.

Within Aspen the children of employees at the Group’s Port Elizabeth manufacturing facility in Grades 10 – 12 were offered extra tuition ahead of exams.

Aspen’s commitment to CSI is not restricted to Group-level assistance only. Employees generously participated again during the year in clothing, toy and blanket drives for a number of underprivileged communities throughout the country

Continued commitment to Empilweni Hospital

Aspen has retained its strong commitment and strategic relations with the Empliweni Hospital. Historically they have received support in varied forms including an upgraded kitchen and much needed blankets.

It was acknowledged that they were experiencing losses of linen which was alleged to occur when the bedding and towels was relocated to alternative premises for washing. Aspen again came to their aid and donated an industrial washing machine and iron in the hope to alleviate the matter of laundry going missing.

Johan Grobler, Mbulelo Nzo, Treasurer of the Empilweni Hospital board,
Mr Meke - Chairman of the Empilweni Hospital Board and Jackie Tau

We Care about Naledi

The Naledi Hospice based in Bloemfontein recently received a R50 000 donation as well as toweling gowns, T-shirts and caps for the care workers. Aspen continues to seek ways in assisting this organization as it cares for the needs of the less fortunate.

Management, staff, social workers and home based care workers of the
Naledi Hospice are grateful for Aspen’s support.

Aspen supports the Girl Child Programme

For the third consecutive year, Aspen has participated in Cell C’s girl child programme which aims to give young ladies a glimpse of the various professions in an organization.

Their career guidance workshop was held at Aspen’s PE offices earlier this year and we hosted 20 scholars and 2 teachers from the Masibambane High School.

The scholars found the day to be exceptionally fruitful. Gayl Siphosethu (18) said that “it actually opened my mind to a new world I didn’t know and taught me that I can do anything I aspire to be”. Andiswa Titise (15) learnt “not to give up on my dreams and to go further until I succeed.” Aspiring Scientist Akhona Damba (16) said that “it meant that I as a girl can become what I want to be and that there are girls who are already doing it”.

A beaming group of scholars and teachers from the
Masibamabe High School

Entertaining the children

The little ones hospitalized at the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth were recently surprised when two huge boxes arrived. To their delight Aspen had donated two television sets for the children’s orthopedic ward where most of these youngsters are immobile and in need of some additional stimulation.

Dr May, Superintendent of Livingstone graciously accepted the televisions from Werner van Rensburg and the children showed their appreciation with an enormous thank you card. Other attendees at the handover included the hospital committee board members, Aspen representatives Jackie Tau, Peter Mathapo and Jeanine Terblanche as well as Aspen’s union leader, Eric Mnyaka.

Tackling HIV/Aids at grassroots level

During the year Aspen provided financial support to Total Control of Epidemics (TCE).Their field officers conduct door to door HIV/Aids education in the Braam Fischerville area. Part of their educational exercise includes discussion of all aspects of prevention, care and treatment of HIV/Aids with significant focus being placed on the importance of folk establishing their status. TCE claims to be achieving high success rates in these communities.

In September TCE celebrated its third year of active involvement in this area and they expressed their gratitude for the support received from the Department of Health (Gauteng), Aspen, Eskom and selected mining groups.

Jackie Tau enjoys celebrations with members of the TCE team

Acknowledging our efforts:

PMR’s survey of South African small business and government leaders rated Aspen’s CSI initiatives as being the best in the pharmaceutical sector. The Group was also awarded “Gold” status for Primary Health Care and Social upliftment, “Silver” status for environmental care and “Bronze” status for BEE.

HOW CSI OPERATES

All requests are thoroughly screened to ensure a good Social Investment case. All successful applications for assistance are included in the special projects section of Corporate Affairs and cleared for formal presentation to the Board of Directors in May of each year. After final approval by the Board of Directors a formal Project Plan is then prepared for implementation in the new financial year which starts in July.

For further information or assistance, please contact Aspen’s CSI Department on (011) 239-6100 or call the toll free number on 0800 122 912.