BE Stories

Investing in employees’ social environment

Kempinski’s Management Board is much aware that hotels cannot be functioning in isolation from the communities in which they are located. All Board members are therefore committed to improve the quality of employees’ and guests’ health environment and protect them from infectious diseases. Through BE Health, Kempinski plays an active role in preventing tuberculosis and HIV at the workplace and in employees’ local communities. Last week, BE Health’s peer educators and employees at Siam Hotel Kempinski accompanied their CEO, Markus Semer, during his visit in Khlong Toei. Introduced to Khun Toy who is benefiting from BE Health’s social protection programme, Markus Semer said “the private sector can make a difference in concrete terms to contribute to end TB and HIV and we will continue to support TB patients through BE Health”.

DP World Doraleh partners with BE Health

This month marks the beginning of the BE Health Programme at our new Hosting Partner: DP World Doraleh. DP World is a container terminal employing more than a thousand employees in the port of Djibouti. The training sessions for the new peer health educators in tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS have already begun. Following these sessions, BE Health team will be strengthened with the energy and passion of 15 new peer educators eager to create positive change around them. Together with our local healthcare partners, BE Health activities will hence be extended to port workers’ local communities and amongst the truck drivers, freighting goods between Ethiopia and Djibouti’s port.

A Thai wrap and an African Burger make a difference

We want to warmly thank Mirjam and Christian Schickmayr for their wonderful initiative to support our activities in a very special way! Every day, their food truck stands outside on Hellweg’s parking space in Bad Kissingen, where they sell dishes and snacks which respect cooking recipes inherited from different cultures. Since a few weeks, our member’s employees have 2 additional options for lunch as Mirjam and Christan have created a spicy “Thai Wrap” and an exotic “African Burger” both reminding flavours from Bangkok and Djibouti. Mirjam and Christian donate one Euro for each Thai wrap and African burger sold. We are very much grateful for their generous support and greatly admire their entrepreneurial creativeness.

Launch of TB patients’ health discussion group

On 4 July and 19 August, 15 TB patients, registered at Health Care Center 41 in Khlong Toei, attended BE Health’s first “TB patients’ health discussion group”. The discussion was initiated by our Community Health Volunteers, because they noticed that TB patients often lack knowledge about their disease and are often in need of psychological support. To avoid transmission of infection and drug resistance, it is important that they know how to protect themselves and their relatives. But to avoid distress, sometimes despair, and therefore treatment default, TB patients require a listening ear, positive thinking and togetherness.
One contagious TB patient can actually infect up to 15 people every year if left untreated or poorly adherent to his/her medical treatment. Including patients’ education into TB case management is powerful. Patients not only learn more about the causes of their symptoms and the importance of their regular treatment, they will also better understand the impact of their illness on their family and direct environment. In addition, they are taught about the importance of treatment adherence to stop the spread of the disease and how to take care of their health once they are cured. In short, making TB patients knowledgeable about their own disease and developing a healthy mind contributes to making health contagious.

Improve TB treatment outcomes through social protection

This month, we are eager to start our social protection programme for extremely impoverished tuberculosis patients in Bangkok. It is sometimes difficult to understand why TB continues to flourish despite easy access to diagnosis and availability to effective medical treatment. But health is more than mere absence of illness. If poverty leads to weakness and therefore to disease, tuberculosis often creates a spiral of life-threatening poverty. With no income, proper sanitation facilities and lack of food, tuberculosis patients are simply not in control of their own health.

In partnership with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), we want to ensure adequate support to TB and MDR-TB patients by delivering financial, food and psychosocial support to improve poor patients’ treatment outcomes. Until the end of the 2017, our active TB case finding will be ongoing in Khlong Toei and, at the same time, we will provide social support to 34 patients.

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