|Videos||• Latest||• Feature||• Sports||• Your Videos|
In an exclusive interview with China.org.cn on March 23, Dr. John Tedstrom, President and CEO of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS, outlined the organization's key initiatives and challenges in fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in China.
Dr. John Tedstrom, GBC President and CEO [China.org.cn]
In the half-hour talk, Dr. Tedstrom explained how the GBC coordinates private sector involvement in disease awareness, control, and prevention efforts and facilitates international cooperation at the local and national levels. He also commented on the status of GBC's current initiatives in China and described GBC's strategy for the upcoming year. Finally, he discussed the specific challenges in fighting these infectious diseases in China and how the GBC is collaborating with other organizations in its efforts.
Tedstrom emphasized that companies could make an immediate impact in the short term by promoting disease education and awareness programs in the workplace and in their communities.
"Companies [should] talk about HIV, TB, and other diseases in the workplace, make their workers aware of the risks, and create wellness programs. [This] will make employees more productive and companies more competitive," Tedstrom said.
Creating workplace education programs which include testing, Tedstrom said, could positively impact the lives of millions of Chinese people.
Tedstrom stressed that full cooperation and partnership with the Ministry of Health and other national and local government agencies was crucial to GBC's mission in China.
"Public health is the government's responsibility, first and foremost," Tedstrom said. "But we can play a key supporting role."
One challenge GBC faced, Tedstrom said, was educating Chinese companies about the benefits of corporate social responsibility. Tedstrom stressed that as members of GBC, Chinese companies could learn from the experiences of many other firms participating in corporate social responsibility across the globe.
"Chinese companies and many multinationals are already collaborating commercially, so there's a natural channel of communication we can use to encourage CSR activities," Tedstrom said.
In addition, Tedstrom called the involvement of Chinese nonprofit and non-governmental organizations "essential" to the GBC's China efforts.
"Our mission is to help move companies forward in the public health arena. In order to do that, we partner them with strong NGOs from civil society, and make sure we're working lockstep with the government's policy," Tedstrom said.
The talk was Tedstrom's last stop on his spring visit to China to meet with government and business leaders. The GBC will hold its 10th annual conference in New York on June 1-2, which will feature a keynote address by global financier George Soros.