In addition to its initiatives supporting medical research, the Group has implemented a number of sponsorship programmes supporting associations that fight against disease on a daily basis through prevention and education, usually in response to local issues.
Proraris: Fighting against Rare Diseases
Founded in June 2010, the ProRaris Association unites approximately one hundred Swiss associations working in the field of rare diseases and on behalf of isolated patients. While continuing to focus on their own specific areas of interest, as part of the ProRaris association each member becomes a recognised and credible spokesperson, able to contribute more effectively to public health issues. The BNP Paribas Foundation has supported ProRaris Switzerland as a founding partner since its inception in 2010, for a period of three years. Rare diseases affect 30 million people in Europe and nearly 500,000 in Switzerland, 6.5% of the population.
In Mali, Targeted Health Initiatives
In the majority of African countries, more than 100 children per thousand die before the age of one year. These deaths are often due to simple diseases that could easily be cured if they were treated early enough. Highly regarded for its expertise in this field, the Pesinet Association has developed a “telephone health” service using mobile technologies and the quality of the GSM network in Africa: each week, healthcare “agents” go out to meet families at their homes and workplaces to enquire about their children’s health. Using their mobile phones they then send the results collected in the field to a doctor for evaluation, thus reducing the treatment time. Pesinet also has a long-term impact by educating the parents, leading to lasting changes in behaviour. BICIM, BNP Paribas’s subsidiary in Mali, is deeply involved in programs that benefit the country’s people, particularly in the field of health and disease prevention. It has supported Pesinet since 2009, with the assistance of the BNP Paribas Foundation.
Supporting the Telethon in France and Italy
BNP Paribas has supported the Telethon since it was first established in 1987, both by taking charge of printing the tax receipts for the donations raised by the programme, and through its participation in a range of initiatives for the benefit of the AFM (l’Association Française contre les Myopathies – the French Association against Muscular Dystrophy). The Group is a major contributor to the French and Italian Telethon, with a strong presence both on and off-line.
Thanks to the funds raised by the Telethon, it has been possible to purchase tools and to establish laboratories and networks. But above all, the Telethon has helped to change the lives of patients. Life expectancy has increased for all those affected by neuromuscular diseases, and better treatments have improved the lives of patients, although much still remains to be done.