Roche Secondment Program: Sharing Employee Skills

 Partnership objectives

  1. Make a sustainable contribution to improving health in developing countries by facilitating transfer of Roche employee’s skills, know-how and expertise to partner programs.
  2. Provide Roche employees with personal development and experience opportunities by enabling them to contribute and help make a difference in developing countries.

The program aims to support lasting changes to health. The program aims to support lasting changes to health. Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

The world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) suffer the highest levels of disease and have the weakest healthcare systems. Limited access to medicines and diagnostics is just one part of the problem; there is a critical lack of even the most basic healthcare capacity. Many face a critical shortage of healthcare professionals, hospitals and laboratories, as well as low levels of understanding of the causes, prevention and treatment of disease.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The Roche Secondment Program provides a unique opportunity for Roche employees to share capacity and transfer specialist know-how in an effective and sustainable way, whilst also gaining valuable personal development and experience opportunities. With all projects being health related, the program aims to support lasting changes to health through the experience and skills of Roche’s employees.

Employees can spend from three to twelve months working in a developing country in collaboration with a partner organisation which already has expertise on the ground. The program focuses on Least Developed Countries or low income or lower middle income economies.

Through combining the skills and resources within Roche with those of other organisations, the aim is to deliver sustainable outputs that could not have been achieved alone.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Projects so far have taken place in countries including India, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Niger, Swaziland, Togo and Haiti.

Examples of impacts include:

  • Assist in developing a model that allows Ethiopian diabetes patients to obtain relatable and appropriate information on their condition.
  • Participating in focus group sessions, surveys, running connectivity tests, comparing software performance and coming up with training ideas to help get the Distance Learning project off the ground. The project is now being incorporated into the World Vision’s Health and Nutrition training strategy and it has also been used to create a white paper that was presented at the Health Conference in Washington DC in 2009. 
  • Working with professionals and the clinic’s leadership at an outpatient clinic in Togo to provide pharmacy services to benefit patients and their families.
  • Bringing the Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition (DREAM) Program for the Prevention, Detection and Aftercare of HIV/AIDS to Ethiopia.
  • Working as the representative and local fund agent in Niger for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, along with disease monitoring, distribution of medication, testing and in counselling.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) Canossian Sister’s International Voluntary Service, Clowns without Borders, Community of the Daughters of Charity, Ethiopian Diabetes Association (EDA), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Local government & associations, Local hospitals & health centers & patient groups, Project HOPE, Swiss Centre for International Health, Swisscontact, UNICEF, World Vision

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Other

Disease(s) Children's Health, General Health, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, North America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 198

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong-Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2007

More information Roche Secondment Program

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« My experience taught me a great deal about the priorities in treating neglected diseases in developing countries. »

Bart Vanhauwere, General Manager Roche Netherlands