Prevention for preparedness in hygiene and health
Submitted by Essity
In light of economic downturns and austerity measures, it is important to focus on the broader value created for society through a total cost calculation, including societal costs. Investment in prevention for preparedness should generate value both for individuals and for society at large. It generates a considerable economic and societal value to health and well-being, which is challenging to quantify.1 Given the strain on healthcare systems and budgets, it is important to think of long-term benefits available. This requires a value-based approach where the best health outcomes are in focus.
An example of long-term financial planning for healthcare budgets can be a change in attitude to pandemic management. More pandemics are likely to occur in the future2, driven by many different factors such as climate change, animal husbandry, and urbanization. Investing in prevention measures can help achieve better health outcomes and reduce infections and pandemics, thus reducing the cost required to manage these. Prevention measures such as education, limiting deforestation, and ensuring access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene products cost between $10.3 billion and $11.5 billion per year, which is much less than the cost of pandemic preparedness, amounting to around $30.1 billion per year3, both of which are negligible in comparison to Covid-19’s estimated $12.5 trillion cost globally4.
In addition to being a cost-effective approach, investing in prevention and more resilient health systems can result in increased productivity and less pressure on social insurance systems. When illness is reduced, less of the labor force is made absent, either through sick leave or for caregiving, leading to increased productivity and economic growth.5 It is estimated that workplace absenteeism due to illness costs the European Union 2.5% of its GDP,6 and that work- place presenteeism, whereby ill workers go to work despite being ill, also leads to significant costs.7
Investing in prevention as a key element for preparedness as laid out in this chapter has broader societal benefits beyond just savings.
Calls for action in prevention for preparedness
Invest in preventing AMR within the One Health approach: To make a real impact in the fight against AMR, a multistakeholder approach is needed, where governments, healthcare providers, academia, civil society, and businesses collaborate across all relevant sectors. Working together at local, national and global level to improve infection prevention measures and establish guidelines, supported by education and training, and to emphasize the cost-effectiveness of prevention is key.
A relevant example is antimicrobial stewardship in wound care, which should be incorporated in care standards and practices, included in trainings for care givers and prioritized in financing and usage.
1López-Casasnovas G. (2005). Health and economic growth : findings and policy implications. MIT Press.
2GAVI (2022) New study suggests risk of extreme pandemics like COVID-19 could increase threefold in coming decades https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/new-study-suggests-risk-extreme-pandemics-Covid-19-could-increase-threefold-coming
3World Bank Group (2022) Putting Pandemics Behind Us: Investing in One Health to Reduce Risks of Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Washington, DC. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/server/api/core/bitstreams/956a58be-ddd8-572f-8aac-df5ab453d7b2/content
4Reuters. (2022, January 20). IMF sees cost of COVID pandemic rising beyond $12.5 trillion estimate. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/ business/imf-sees-cost-covid-pandemic-rising-beyond-125-trillion-estimate-2022-01-20/
5Strömberg, C., Aboagye, E., Hagberg, J., Bergström, G., & Lohela-Karlsson, M. (2017). Estimating the Effect and Economic Impact of Absenteeism, Presenteeism, and Work Environment-Related Problems on Reductions in Productivity from a Managerial Perspective. Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 20(8), 1058–1064.
6Human Capital Hub (2022). Absenteeism in the workplace: Impact, causes, and policies. Human Capital Hub. https://www.thehumanca- pitalhub.com/articles/absenteeism-in-the-workplace-impact-causes-and-policies
7Strömberg, C., Aboagye, E., Hagberg, J., Bergström, G., & Lohela-Karlsson, M. (2017). Estimating the Effect and Economic Impact of Absenteeism, Presenteeism, and Work Environment-Related Problems on Reductions in Productivity from a Managerial Perspective. Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 20(8), 1058–1064.
Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces and sells Personal Care (Baby Care, Feminine Care, Incontinence Products and Medical Solutions), Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene products and solutions.
Our vision is; Dedicated to improving well-being through leading hygiene and health solutions. The name Essity stems from the words essentials and necessities. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other brands, such as Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2017 amounted to approximately 12.8 bn USD (SEK 109bn, EUR 11.3bn). The business operations are based on a sustainable business model with focus on value creation for people and nature.
The company has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity used to be part of the SCA Group.
Tork is a brand of Essity. Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company that develops personal care, professional hygiene and consumer tissue products and solutions. Essity offers Tork paper towels, toilet paper, skin care products, facial tissue, wipers, wet wipes, napkins and other hygiene products for washrooms, wash stations, healthcare areas, food and beverage handling, food preparation, manufacturing and maintenance. For more information, visit http://www.torkusa.com/
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