AAR COP of Sustainability 2012
AAR Group CEO’s Statement of Commitment and Preamble
I am pleased to reiterate AAR’s commitment and support, where applicable, for the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles.
In addition to the above in March 2012 AAR became the signatory of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya as well as an ardent supporter for the Rights of the Child in Business which was launched in Nairobi in October 2012. AAR core values of Timeliness, Caring Attitude, Quality, Integrity and Team-ness stride shoulder to shoulder with human rights under which the above rights fall. The values also form the invisible glue that binds AAR and continue to evolve as part of the company’s culture and therefore also clearly support UNGC’s codes.
In 2012 the fast growing East African region continued to be challenging in the health sector, but in spite of this AAR maintained its leading position in providing health care solutions making a difference to the lives of its customers and other service users as well as to the community and the environment in which is does business. AAR prides itself with a strong brand which it knows reads and respects the five core values stated above, which allows it to expand the delivery of its health solutions that make a difference to lives of its members as well as community in general.
Skilled staff deficiency continues as a challenge in all the East African countries where AAR does business, and competing for technically skilled staff, especially in the medical sector, with the moneyed NGO sector is challenging, but with the growing tertiary education facilities opening up, AAR believes to be able to have access and choice to a wider scale of proficient employees in all areas of its business.
As AAR keeps on expanding its social responsibility from shareholder to board level right down to the line employee, it continued to invest into training employees in 2012 further installing an increased culture of excellence and synergy across the structure of the company so there is a bigger buy-in in the understanding what AAR medical services, medical solutions and brand stand for. All AAR Staff and AAR Sales Representatives annually sign a Code of Conduct oath.
As customer expectations go on increasing the company’s continual training enhances employee understanding of his/her responsibilities and company’s values. These values incorporate, support, embrace and enact the goals spelled out in the UN Global Compact ten principles as well as the Millennium Development Goals where applicable.
AAR Group CEO
UN Global Compact Report of Sustainability 2012
In spite of economical and political challenges in all the East African countries in 2012, AAR saw the formation of two new companies being set up in 2012: AAR Healthcare Kenya Ltd, and AAR Insurance Kenya Ltd. At the beginning of the millennium the Economist had a leading article on Africa calling it the lost continent, but in 2012 we saw this prestigious magazine admit that Africa is now the continent of the future. AAR has felt this growth as its health service business caters to the fast growing East African middle class.
AAR membership of the UN Global Compact has allowed it to take part in the putting together of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya and was one of the first signatory.
In October 2012 saw the Kenyan launch of Child Rights in Business which was earlier launched in Europe.
AAR has always been aware of the fact that as it continues to run a sustainable and socially responsible business, its core values Timeliness, Caring Attitude, Quality, Integrity and Team-ness are being incorporated as the pillars in every decision and action the company makes on a daily basis. These core values have to also make a difference and be of significance to the daily lives of its employees and customers.
The staff and company sales-reps need to understand without question that the company’s values are not cosmetic as these are the pillars which give AAR the means of not only guiding but also evaluating its operations and its future planning, and allow AAR to differ in the market. Each employee, no matter at what level, must understand and appreciate the fact that AAR’s core values are its anchor in making a difference to the way it does business and conducts its work. This is highlighted in every seminars, workshops and training sessions as well as bulletin.
From board and senior management level, individuals take their responsibility seriously, creating a conducive environment allowing transparency, open communication, accountability and complying to legal and regulatory demands. Management teams ensure that there is correct, skilled and available human, financial and natural resources to conduct a viable business and that these resources are used efficiently, without compromising the ability of various stakeholders to meet their immediate and future needs.
The challenge for AAR is to ensure that each employee and sales representative, no matter at which grade, understands that the responsibility of the company’s welfare lies with the individual. He/she is the ambassador of the company. Since September 2008, when AAR joined the Global Compact, it committed itself to support and advance the ten principles of the UN Global Compact within its sphere of influence and as said the challenge has been to make each employee and sales representative understand what personal and corporate responsibility means.
Through the Balance Score Card AAR is able to measure staff outputs. In 2012 the upgraded HR manual, available in the company intranet, is easily accessible for perusal.
Since 2004 AAR has had a Corporate Social Responsibility policy statement which states: to achieve commercial success in ways that honour ethical values, compliance with legal requirements and respect for people, communities and the natural environment. Through its newsletters, through bulletins, company seminars, workshops and training the social responsibility is brought to staff attention.
By 2009 understanding what CSR means was incorporated into the general customer care training CeSaaR manual: ‘Customer Excellent Service Achieves AAR Results’. The training manual was collated in-house making it more relevant, meaningful and owned by all AAR staff and sales representatives. By the end of 2012 most employees have now been trained and this will continue into 2013
An overview of 2012 – AAR Holdings Ltd
In 2010 AAR received a 20% boost when in 2010 IFHA, Investment Fund for Health in Africa, bought a 20% stake into its business, which then was increased to 66% in 2012. IFHA is focused on developing healthcare in Africa, with emphasis on pioneering market-based services to improve healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan African countries.
As per AAR strategy this supported the expansion of its health care delivery sector and the formation of AAR Insurance Kenya. By the end of 2012 three new clinics were opened in Kenya which has further reinforced AAR’s expansion plans in the East African fast growing middle class market/increasing consumer population.
The holding company is made up of several businesses covering healthcare clinics, health insurance, health finance and medical evacuation services.
AAR powerful brand in the East African region has kept AAR in the forefront of competitors. The East African region has proved to be resilient to global downturn and albeit of above average corruption, political risks have diminished and with the signing of the East African Community treaty creating a powerful trading bloc in a region which is marching ahead with global branded companies opening their headquarters especially in Nairobi. (prediction: Brian & Company).
With a current membership of some 200,000, AAR is not only the East African leader in healthcare but is also the preferred provider for both the public and private sectors in East Africa. Today AAR has 26 health centres spread over Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; AAR Tanzania has 5 factory clinics, and AAR prides itself with an extensive partner-provider medical network.
It is AAR’s flexibility, innovation and readiness to respond to the needs of its clients that have today made AAR leading healthcare and insurance company in East Africa, as encapsulated in its vision, mission and core values which state that AAR want to be provider of choice for innovative and quality health care solutions in Africa, where it provides health care solutions that make a difference to life.
AAR Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
To achieve commercial success in ways that honour ethical values, compliance with legal requirements and respect for people, communities and the natural environment.
In March 2012 AAR signed the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya, and it is this code which will enable AAR employees to imbibe an ethically friendly culture as they understand the
AAR 2012 Report of Sustainability
The Codes for Business listed here under, integrate into AAR’s Mission, Vision as well as Core Values of Timeliness, Caring Attitude, Quality, Integrity and Team-ness which form the invisible glue that binds AAR. The Codes, the mission the vision and values all evolve as part of the company’s culture and therefore clearly support UNGC’s codes. This report will take the code as a reference.
Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya
AAR, as a signatory of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya concurs to the ethics, which are inspired by the UN Global Compact Initiative; hence commitments have been drawn in line with the ten principles on Human Rights, Labour Rights, Environment and Anti-corruption
Explanations of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya
The Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya identifies the stakeholders of a business and its specific commitments. The stakeholders are: Organizations; Shareholders and Investors; Users of Products and Services; Suppliers, Contractors & Agents; Society; State & Government and Natural Environment
AAR, as a signatory of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya concurs to the ethics, which are inspired by the UN Global Compact Initiative; hence commitments have been drawn in line with the ten principles on Human Rights, Labour Rights, Environment and Anti-corruption.
As a leader, AAR sets the ethical tone in its organisations. AAR demonstrates its ethical commitment by crating policies and structures to implement the values and obligations of this Code in its organisations, and by reporting annually on its adherence to this Code.
Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya (signed by AAR in March 2012)
By adopting the Code, businesses are opting for a proactive means of handling responsible behaviour through self-regulation. This creates a thriving operating environment, devoid of too much regulation from government. AAR will endeavour to introduce the principles of the code in all the countries where it has a business presents.
The Code goes on to state:
We, the business community, recognise that ethical business brings about good business. We are committed to play a proactive role in building a globally competitive and prosperous nation, with a high quality of life, as environed in Vision 2030.
As good corporate citizens, we commit to treating our stakeholders with Respect, to run our businesses with Responsibility, to act with Compliance with applicable laws, and to be actively involved in Corruption Prevention. Our commitment to these ethical standards determines our interaction with our stakeholders (that is, our organizations; our shareholders and investors; users of our products and services; our suppliers, contractors and agents; our society; and our state and government) and the environment.
v As good corporate citizens, we commit to treating our stakeholders with Respect, to run our businesses with Responsibility, to act in Compliance with applicable laws, and to be actively involved in Corruption Prevention
Benefits & Results
v It is expected that with these ethics in place, integrity in the conduct of businesses will be increased. This will help create a clean business environment, which has an ultimate effect of reduced cost of doing business
v This is the business’ way of enhancing the sustainability agenda. By acting responsibly, businesses will contribute towards a better society and country; hence avoid instances of violations and harmful/misleading actions
v A company may also derive increased company profile arising from being associated with good corporate citizenship. It has been demonstrated that good corporate citizenship is a useful tool for competitive advantage. The reverse of this is damaging a company’s image, once dented, is very hard to rebuild and could even be costly in terms of loss of market
AAR - Labour & Human Rights
AAR respects the human rights and AAR as an organization will
dignity of all our employees and uphold all internationally proclaimed
does not encourage unfair human and labour rights principles
discrimination or favouritism across its operations. It complies with all legal and regulatory demands in countries where it does business and adheres to labour laws
In 2012, AAR HR department was able to compile all the various separately documented policies touching on staff welfare and conduct and instead formulated and compiled one comprehensive policy document. The policy document has been prepared into 3 versions for each East African country, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, by customizing them to suit their local legislations
AAR takes responsibility for providing In this regard part of the AAR HR decent, safe and healthy work function agenda for part of 2012 & 2013
environments for its employees, was and continues to conduct HR
and for developing their talent policy awareness and education to all
AAR complies with labour laws and staff via the intranet, workshops,
related regulations, safety and health seminars, newsletters and bulletins.
policies, and standards of decent work Further, through the AAR HR
programmes, institute internal control Department, management is
systems, and build a culture of continuously equipped with necessary
corruption-free business practice skills and understanding so as to
interpret these policies as they apply them in their respective operations. AAR HR Department in 2012 upgraded the Staff Manual, as well as a Code of Conduct, which is annually signed by all AAR staff & sales representatives
The expected outcome is to have an informed workforce and in particular to have a staff force understand the various staff policies, code of ethics and company values as well as to have an easily accessible document to every AAR employee and/or AAR sales representative through the company intranet. All applications are also accessible through the intranet which allows for easier monitoring/review/amendments by management where necessary
AAR actively develops anti-corruption Compliance is comprehensively
programmes, institutes internal control covered under AAR’s new HR manual.
systems, and builds a culture of The manual calls for declaration of
corruption-free business practice conflict of interest when one joins AAR as an employee or as a sales
representative; it also calls for such declaration whenever the circumstances demand for ongoing employees.
The internal audit department is independent and offers objective assurance and consulting services to add value and improve AAR's operations. It helps AAR accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes
Measurements are still being put into action – albeit when fraud is detected impunity still persists in the whole of the East African region in various degrees, depending on the country, which still renders bringing the culprits to book challenging
AAR’s systems are open to third party auditors for verification (Ernst & Young)
The company demand disclosure of gifts received in the course of one’s duty, among other disclosures to dissuade corrupt practices. AAR takes deterrent
action as a last resort the action could range from termination of contract with AAR to prosecution in courts of law.
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC), a performance measurement tool continues to be used throughout the company to evaluate staff performance each quarter and at the end of each year. All staff clearly understands the BSC and as a result they are motivated to work in an environment where performance targets are clearly and openly shared across the company. Performance is evaluated based on 4 perspectives aligned to the company’s strategy: financial, customer, internal business processes and people - learning and growth
AAR is upholds Children Rights in Business – signed 10th October 2012
AAR Shareholders and AAR Investors
AAR respects its shareholders 2012 saw further investment by IFHA*
and other potential investors for enabling to put into effect company’s
financing the organisation, thus strategy of setting up to separate Kenya
creating employment in the nations companies:
where AAR does business
AAR takes responsibility for economic and AAR Insurance Kenya.
development by pursuing a healthy The investment has allowed for a
return on investment healthy return on investment in 2012
AAR complies with principles of good Through the Board of Directors the
governance that inspire investor company promotes a culture of
confidence awareness and sensitivity at all
levels to potential conflicts of interest,
Compliance – Board of Directors
responsible for maintaining and
preserving a balance between
innovation and transparency
AAR avoids corrupt practices that can The setting up of a fully fledged and
harm the good reputation of its autonomous internal audit function
shareholders and other investors in 2012 is a significant step in anti-corruption fight in AAR. The internal audit department answer directly to the Board Audit Committee
Scope of the Internal Audit
The scope of work of the internal audit activity is to determine whether the organisation's network of risk management, control, and governance processes, as designed and represented by management, is adequate and functioning in a manner to ensure risks are appropriately identified and managed, among others issues. The existence of corruption, including extortion and bribery increase the cost of doing business and diminishes proper governance of an institution. AAR has a strict code of conduct that guides behaviour when its officers interact with the suppliers, customers, general public and even within AAR itself
AAR has a third party auditor, Ernst & Young.
Other measurement tools will be looked into in 2013
*IFHA – Investor into AAR - The Investment Fund for Health in Africa (IFHA) is a private equity fund dedicated to small to medium size (equity) investments in private healthcare companies in Africa. IFHA invests in private healthcare companies that operate in fast-growing markets and show unique advantages over the competition.
The IFHA team consists of professionals with a diverse range of experience in senior management, healthcare and health insurance. The IFHA team originated from PharmAccess Foundation, an organization that aims to contribute to building sustainable healthcare in Africa, and brings in together over 15 years of experience with working with the private healthcare sector in Africa.
Users of AAR Services
AAR respects its customers and to provide healthcare solutions that
clients, does not mislead or exploit make a difference to life
them, and values their feedback
AAR communicates truthfully on its Services offered in AAR
products and services and takes (see below – AAR today to end 2012) responsibility for the safety of its Responsible conduct of business as
customers and quality of its services stated in company’s CSR policy
AAR complies with consumer AAR Vision
protection laws, refrains from to be the provider of choice for
anti-corruption practices, and innovative and quality healthcare
ensures that its services solutions in Africa
meet health and safety standards
AAR embraces corruption-free AAR has a strict code of conduct that
practices to ensure that users can guides behaviour when its officers,
trust its services staff and sales representatives interact with the suppliers, customers and general public
AAR Suppliers, Contractors, Medical Agents and Agents
AAR interaction with its business Contracts are signed with its suppliers
partners is based on mutual respect and medical business partners -
and therefore AAR engages in separate contracts are signed
win-win relationships depending on department’s needs
AAR encourages its business Partners are encouraged but not
partners to share its commitment forced to adhere to AAR ethics
to responsible business
AAR complies with all contractual and More stringent commitments will be
legal obligations agreed with its perused in the course of 2013
business partners, and it pays
them on time
AAR does not give or receive bribes The existence of corruption,
and avoids corrupt practices that including extortion and bribery
can harm its relationships with its increases the cost of doing business
business partners and diminishes proper governance of an
Stricter measurements to be implemented in 2013
AAR Society (Corporate Social Investment)
AAR respects the people and social - to achieve commercial success in
and cultural norms of the communities ways that honour ethical values,
in which it operates compliance with legal requirements
and respect for people, communities and the natural environment -
AAR takes responsibility for the impact AAR, whose activities are in the medical
of its operations on local communities, field, takes its social responsibility very
and it contributes to the development earnestly and is involved in many social
and strengthening of the societies project and programmes. AAR signed
in which it operates *The Children’s Rights and Business Principles – extract from the rights
Trees for Health project also caters to schools with children with challenges
AAR complies with the ethical norms - AAR has 150 schools on board the
of the society from whom it earn Trees for Health Project by end of 2012
its license to operate - The Cluster Foundation – helping to
AAR collaborate with communities and
civil society organisations to create
a corruption-free society
*Children’s Rights and Business Principles
“Children’s Rights and Business Principles were developed in consultation with business experts, child right experts, civil society, governments and children. Save the Children, UNICEF and the United Nations Global Compact hope they will serve as an inspiration and guidepost for all businesses, everywhere, in their interactions with children.
Children’s rights are an essential investment in our sustainable future. Human rights apply to all children. Safeguarding these rights helps build the strong, well-educated communities that are vital to crating a stable, inclusive and productive business environment.
A business that integrates respect and support for children into its strategy and operations generates benefits for children, society; and can generate real benefits for
business as well. Positive action for children’s rights can build reputations, improve risk management and enhance the social license to operate – including gaining and maintaining the support of the people who live and work where the business is conducted. A commitment to children can also help recruit and maintain a motivated workforce. For example, by supporting employees in their roles as parents and caregivers, and promoting youth employment and helping to ensure that the next generation as the skills a business needs to proper – these are some of the concrete steps that a business can take.
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles identify a range of actions that all business should take to respect children’s rights – to prevent and address any adverse impact on children’s human rights, as well as measures all business is encouraged to take to help support and advance children’s rights. It recognizes the tremendous positive power of businesses large and small, and seeks to promote the best business practices. The principles call on the entire business community around the world to evaluate their impact on the rights of children; and to take action to make a difference for children.
Actions for Business
Ten principles identify actions for all businesses to respect and support children’s rights.
Principles 1 outlines three core actions to be taken to achieve this corporate responsibility to respect children’s rights – policy commitments, due diligence measures and remediation. It also encourages all businesses to go beyond respect for children’s rights to the next steps of supporting and promoting children’s rights. These actions are based on four basic principles of children’s rights – survival and development; concern for their best interest, participation and freedom of expression; and equal treatment regardless of their status such as race, gender or disability.
The remaining nine Principles encourage business to implement these core actions by considering the impact on children of all their activities and their relationships related to the workplace, marketplace, community and the environment.
Principle 1 Meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children
Principle 2 Contribute to the elimination of child labour, including in all business activities and business relationships
Principle 3 Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers
Principle 4 Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities
Principle 5 Ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support children’s rights through them
Principle 6 Use marketing and advertising that respect and support children’s rights
Principle 7 Respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use
Principle 8 Respect and support children’s rights in security arrangements
Principle 9 Help protect children affected by emergencies
Principle 10 Reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill children’s rights
AAR Deworming programme in Schools
De-worming is an efficient investment in human capital
Worm infestation is one of the major neglected diseases which hamper the ability of communities to pull themselves out of poverty. (WHO, UNICEF, World Bank…)
According to the AAR research medical team one of the main demographic NCD drag causes for poor school performance are intestinal worms. WHO, UNICEF as well as the Kenya Ministry of Education, and Kenya Ministry of Health have clearly indicated that worm infestation is one of the major neglected diseases which hamper the ability of communities to pull themselves out of poverty.
Regular deworming contributes to good health and nutrition for school-age children, which in turn leads to increased enrollment and attendance, reduced class repetition, and increased educational attainment. The most disadvantaged children often suffer the most from poor health and malnutrition, and stand the most to gain from deworming.
The overwhelming effects of school-based deworming are a crucial step towards achieving universal global education.
Rural children waiting to be dewormed, others planting trees and others getting ready to wash their hands
Trees for Health – (see: under Environmental)
AAR has put into place a programme called Trees for Health project where it combines the health of children with that of the environment.
Extracts from web:
Evidence that school de-worming is beneficial and cost-effective
Partnership for Child development support by WHO< Child to Child, UN Children’s Fund, UN Educational, World Bank, PCD, USAid, Pan American Health Organization, WFP, Save the Children and further endorsed by EA Network of HIV/AIDS & Education EA as well as Kenya Ministry of Education)
De-worming contributes to Education for All
Studies in low-income countries of Africa, South America and Asia confirm that children with intense worm infections perform poorly in learning ability tests, cognitive function and educational achievement. Differences in test performance equivalent to a six- month delay in development
Absenteeism is more frequent among infected than uninfected children - half much as their uninfected peers
De-worming can benefit children’s learning and substantially increase primary school attendance and significantly increase a child’s ability to learn in school
De-worming is an exceptionally low cost intervention
Operational research in Ghana and Tanzania has demonstrated that for the first five years of intervention, the average yearly cost of delivered treatment is very inexpensive .
De-worming gives a high return to education and labor income
A randomized evaluation of school-based mass de-worming for schistosomiasis and intestinal worms in Kenya reduced absenteeism by one-quarter.
De-worming was the most cost-effective method of improving school participation among a series of educational interventions.
De-worming is therefore an efficient investment in human capital.
De-worming has major externalities for untreated children and the whole community
By reducing the transmission of infection in the community as a whole, de-worming substantially
improves health and school participation for both treated and untreated children, in treatment schools and in neighboring schools. As a result, treating only school age children can reduce the total burden of disease due to intestinal worm infections by 70% in the community as a whole.
They also explain why de-worming is beneficial even without improvements in sanitation.
De-worming targets one of the most common, long-term infections of children in low-income countries.
For girls and boys aged 5 to 14 years in low-income countries, intestinal worms account for an estimated 11 and 12 percent, respectively, of the total disease burden, and represent the single largest contributor to the disease burden of this group.
An estimated 20 percent of disability adjusted life years lost because of communicable disease among school children is a direct result of intestinal worms.
Combining environmental health with human health - recycling
The hub of hope for those who have been hopeless
Some five years ago TCF, The Cluster Foundation, was set up which involved itself to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from paralysis (PWP) as a consequence of accidents. TCF rallies paraplegics out of their homes and it has become a hub through which PWPs are encouraged to come back into the mainstream of society brining them hope. What TCF is doing & has done look up: www.theclusterfoundation.org
In order to raise money The Cluster Foundation has found an ingenious way of doing just that: it collects newspapers in offices the sale of which allows them to run their office.
Here is where AAR has been helping by rallying its staff and reps to bring their old newspapers.
AAR also encourages other companies to do the same.
Encouraging staff to participate in such a simple act as bringing its old newspapers creates a sense of wanting to help the less fortunate.
AAR State and Government
AAR respects the elected AAR adheres to laws of the lands
governments, the rule of law, and where it does business. Its policies
all organs of the state in countries and practices are all in compliance
where it conducts business where necessary
AAR is responsible and law-abiding bodies
corporate citizens who co-operates KEPSA, FKE etc
fully with governments to promote
good governance in countries
where it conducts business
AAR complies with all laws and AAR has a 3rd party auditor Ernst &
regulations of countries where it Young, assuring compliance to laws
conducts business, and it pays its and regulations and advises on tax
taxes payments and compliance
AAR does not bribe public officials The audit department carries out
or engage in corrupt practices, scheduled audits based on the annual
it reports corruption, and it collaborates plan. The audit plan is a product of a
with governments where it conducts risk base process that identifies key
business, to stamp out corruption areas that pose the greatest risk to AAR
business health. AAR is very much aware that corruption, especially involving bribery and extortion, compromises the entire internal control system
AAR Natural Environment
AAR treats natural environment to practice and take business decisions
and biodiversity with respect which do not impact negatively on the
It does this through:
- drawing awareness of staff to the equitable use of resources without degrading the environment or risking health and safety
- encouraging the conservation and enhancement of natural as well as man-made heritage, including biological diversity and unique ecosystems
- encouraging the improvement of conditions and productivity of degraded areas
- drawing awareness and understanding of the link between environment and development
- promoting individual and community participation in the company in making a positive impact on the environment around themselves
AAR takes responsibility for its right to environmental protection so that
impact on the natural environment, we humans have the right to live in a
supports green business practices, healthy environment
and take remedial actions to ensure
the sustainability of natural resources
AAR complies with environmental laws Offices and AAR health centres make
and regulations and implements an effort to implement environmentally
environmentally sustainable practices sustainable practices: water, electricity,
wherever possible laboratory and other medical waste, recycling of paper
AAR avoids corrupt practices Complies through its policies
that can degrade our natural
AAR - Trees for Health - project
AAR Holdings took a strategic decision in 2007 and the AAR Beckmann Trust was set up with the aim to facilitate development of a healthcare environment which impacts right down to the lowest income earners. One of the trust’s goals is to improve human, especially children’s, health conditions through better environment and sanitation.
It was in the 1990ies that AAR recognised schools as being a major user of firewood and AAR began to encourage them to plant their own energy. In 2009 the AAR Beckmann Trust decided to further intervene by introducing the Trees for Health project. The aim is to both educate and directly enroll schools in the art and benefits of tree planting and how this can impact on human and environmental health.
The Trees for Health project has three components: 1) the School Tree Planting programme; 2) the De-worming programme which is directly the result of the first; and 3) TOT – Trainers of Teachers programme, based on learning and action, this programme creates awareness of environmental stability by creating a multiplier effect in communities situated around the schools and provides continuity.
School Tree Planting programme
AARBT works with schools in low income populations to educate students and teachers on the need for environmental conservation and the benefits that a healthy eco-system provides. It also directly contributes to the Kenya 2030 Vision to see a 10% tree cover from today’s 1.5% cover.
Tree planting demonstration in a Kenyan rural school
School children take direct responsibility for preparing the tree holes, planting the seedlings and caring for them until they mature. This is achieved through practical lessons in tree planting and caring.
Schools are a large user of firewood, as they grow their own source, they free up resources which can now be spent on life saving health initiatives such as de-worming and improvement of sanitary conditions.
School Children De-worming programme
According to WHO, UNICEF and AAR research medical team, one of the main demographic neglected diseases is worm infestation. Worm enter children bodies through the water they drink or the food they eat. Worm infestation drags school performance down and once established in the host i.e. children, they steal viral nutrients from the children’s digestive tract and deplete their intellectual energy. Among other things it causes iron deficiency anaemia. Anaemia is an insidious illness that may cause no apparent symptoms, but will eventually present with malnutrition, malaise and fatigue.
Deworming in the field
The problem can be easily and inexpensively tackled by having a regular de-worming programme in place.
The School Children De-worming programme is financed by parents (establishing self-sustainability) or with the savings generated through the savings made through the sustainable energy system created by planting trees on school grounds. Any remaining monies are used for other essential health requirements such as access to proper sanitation and clean water among others. Lack of proper sanitation is a big problem in schools and low income communities.
TOT – Trainers of Teachers programme –
Multiplier effect into the communities
As we know training others is the best way to spread knowledge and empower individuals, AARBT has developed a school programme that teaches students, teachers, and community members how to plant trees, take care of them and perpetuate the training of others. The consequence is a multiplier effect.
Based on learning and action, this programme creates awareness of environmental stability by creating a multiplier effect in the community and provides continuity to the Trust’s Trees for Health planting project in schools.
Trees for Health project impacts
- De-worming of school children
- Encouraging & improving better sanitary conditions (dirty toilets are a source of re-infection)
- Introduction of cleaner and more efficient cook stoves – multiplier effect into community
- Introduction of safe drinking and water accessibility for hand washing
With a current membership of 200,000, AAR is not only a leader in the provision of healthcare and other medical and life solutions, but is also the preferred provider for both the public and private sectors in East Africa
AAR is also alert to the need to be always ahead in its service delivery and is committed to the continuous improvement of its services and infrastructure. By the end of 2012 AAR had expanded its clinical base to 26 throughout the East African region. It also runs factory clinics in Tanzania, and works closely with an extended partner network
Clinics – Health Centres
AAR is today the largest and most successful private healthcare company with a footprint in the East African region. It operates 26 health centres spread over Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and 5 factory clinics in Tanzania; through its partner network it
has a presents in Rwanda, Burundi, Southern Sudan; it provides preventative and curative healthcare to clients from all walks of life
Health promotion and prevention
From the outset it is in AAR’s culture to have prevention right in the forefront of services offered in all AAR Health Centres
PREVENTIAON – PREVENTION – PREVENTION and EDUCATION
Prevention is better than cure. This is an integral part of services provided in AAR’s health centres
Nurse Help Line and 24 hour Call Centre and 24 hour medical facilities
AAR has a twenty four hour Nurse Help Line and Emergency Call Centre. It now offers a 24 hour telemedicine service.
AAR offers rescue and evacuation services to its members from anywhere in the world
AAR has 2 separate insurance companies, AAR Insurance Tanzania and AAR Insurance Kenya, and in the course of 2013 AAR Uganda will be set up. These
companies are regulated by the laws of the different countries they operate in as medical and general insurance companies
Through AAR Credit Services, AAR members have a facility that finances their premiums and allows them to conveniently pay their annual membership fees and other personalized loans. Through this service, AAR goes the extra mile by adding value to its members by easing their cash flow and allowing them to upgrade and retain their membership. The credit service is currently available to AAR members in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
AAR has renewed and implemented a new, robust clinical and administration IT system to create and support its service delivery. Its ever-growing number of health centres throughout the region, increased membership and diversification of skills base, has placed AAR at an advantageous position to be at the helm of healthcare in Africa
Rewards/Customer Loyalty Programmes
In order to enhance its services to its members, AAR has incentive programmes which entitles its members and non-members but users of its services to special offers.
The aim of these programmes is to provide AAR members with additional value above that provided to them through their health plans. The special offers are made available
through a network of selected partners. Redeeming of offers from partners is applicable
to AAR members across its membership base regardless of membership type. The ultimate goal is the strengthening of customer relations and enhanced customer loyalty
AAR Beckmann Trust
The CSR arm of AAR is administered by the AAR Beckmann Trust which was set up in 2007. It also runs the Employee Volunteer Programmes, and its aim is to facilitate the development of a healthcare environment and network that ensures competency and quality of life.
The Trust’s vision is to see an East Africa where every individual can access health and enjoy a wholesome quality of life and its mission is to improve health and living conditions of low-income communities in East Africa by involving and empowering the lower income sector of the population in initiatives that foster a healthy environment.
AAR is committed to fulfilling its mission and its vision and is continuously on the lookout for opportunities on the African continent. AAR already has a presents in Nigeria and Ghana. It has received and is studying a number of special interests and invites from the governments of countries neighbouring Eastern Africa - including Somalia, Ethiopia, Zambia, Eastern Congo and Southern Sudan – who wish to benefit from its services and learn from its experiences
AAR Karen Health Centre is now open!! The health centre is located at the Great Jubilee Centre next to NPC Karen Church, Langata road. The new centre will provide a range of comprehensive diagnostic services which include laboratory, nutritionist and specialist consultation among other services.
The new health centre will be open from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm on Saturdays and 10 am to 2pm on Sundays and Public Holidays
The Karen Health Centre is open to both AAR members and the public.
AAR Adams Health Centre is now open! The Health Centre is located at Greenhouse building , Ngong Road. The new health centre will be open from 8am to 7pm on Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and 10 am to 2pm on Sundays and Public Holidays. It will provide a range of comprehensive diagnostic services which include laboratory services, nutrition and lifestyle counseling among other services. This comes in fulfillment of AAR’s plans to expand its Healthcare arm of business in the region. The opening of the new Health Centre will significantly contribute to bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work strengthening AAR’s presence in markets not just in the region but across the continent.
AAR Parklands Health centre has also relocated to a more spacious location at Diamond Plaza Annexe, 3rd floor, 4th Parklands Avenue.