Health care group wins Prestigious U.S. Award for Innovative Work in Rwanda

A man uses a hand-washing station at a health post sponsored by an Abbott pilot program, in partnership with the government of Rwanda, that brings quality health care closer to rural communities. (© Andy Rugema/Abbott). Source and caption picture:

Abbott, a global health care leader, has won the annual U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for its work expanding preventative health care in underserved rural areas of Rwanda, the U.S. Embassy in Kigali announced Tuesday.

 “I am pleased to congratulate Abbott for their great work to expand access to health care here in Rwanda,” said U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman. “Everyone wins when U.S. companies represent the very best of American values in the way that they do business overseas.”

Abbott was recognized for collaborating with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the non-profit organization Society for Family Health Rwanda (SFH Rwanda) to open second-generation health posts that expand access to primary healthcare and testing in rural areas. These health posts leverage smart design principles to optimize patient care, with expanded services including prenatal and maternity care, a pharmacy, and broader diagnostic testing resources. As the model proves successful, Abbott is helping the Government of Rwanda reach its goal of a multi-service health post within a 30-minute walk from every Rwandan home.

These investments build on Abbott’s commitment to corporate social responsibility in Rwanda. In September 2019, for example, Abbott launched a campaign in partnership with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Team Type 1 Diabetes, and the Rwandan Diabetes Association to donate 2,000 glucose meters and 12 million lancets and test strips. This initiative will provide all 2,000 registered people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in Rwanda access to regular blood glucose testing for the next four years. In making this donation, Abbott has raised awareness around diabetes and the importance of routine testing for successful management of the disease.

Keith Krach, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, announced the ACE winners, calling the winning firms “worthy ambassadors for the strength of the American brand” and said each is committed to “hard work, innovation, promotion of equality and free enterprise in the service of their local communities.”

The annual Awards for Corporate Excellence recognize U.S. companies that uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities and represent American values in the way they do business in their overseas operations. Abbott was honored with the 2020 ACE in the “Innovation” category. AES Panama won the Sustainable Energy Security award and Coca-Cola Azerbaijan received the Women’s Economic Empowerment award.

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