Pro Bono

As a company dedicated to the improvement of health and healthcare globally, we constantly seek new ways to help realise this goal. We therefore devote ourselves to pro bono projects in which our knowledge can be applied to effect real benefits to global health.

In 2013 we launched our Global Health Internship in partnership with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. The internship aims to give nationals from low- or middle-income countries skills in evidence-based medicine and health economics that they can take back and apply to problems in their community. The intern is recruited and funded by Costello Medical and holds the status of Visiting Academic Scholar at the University of Cambridge, subject to eligibility.

Our current experience on pro bono projects includes:

  • Investigating the effects of environmental teratogens in developing countries, in collaboration with the PHG Foundation.
  • Evaluating the economic burden of neglected tropical diseases for Giving What We Can.
  • Supporting SimPrints with the value communication of their product, a mobile biometric scanner, for healthcare delivery in resource-limited settings.
  • An economic analysis for the introduction of pathogen genomics to the UK healthcare system, with the PHG Foundation.

We can offer our full range of services to our pro bono clients and are always looking for new potential projects, particularly in the areas of public health and global health. If you believe that your organisation could benefit from a pro bono collaboration with us, please contact Lucy Eddowes to explore the ways in which we may be able to help.

SimPrints is a social enterprise that has developed a low-cost, mobile and ruggedised biometric system customised for the developing world. The SimPrints fingerprint scanner has a range of uses to benefit healthcare delivery in low-income countries, such as tracking healthcare workers and monitoring vaccination programmes.

Our Market Access and Publications Divisions, with input from our Graphic Design Team, developed a value dossier and infographic to communicate key information about the current unmet need and potential benefits of using the SimPrints scanner for maternal health and childhood vaccinations. We provided SimPrints with their first, fully-referenced dossier to communicate the value of their technology in these healthcare settings and developed an eye-catching infographic to reach a wider audience with their value story. During the development of the dossier we ensured that the dossier remained focussed on key areas of potential value, preventing dilution of the value story, and really enjoyed translating the value story into a more visual format.

These materials, developed on a pro bono basis, are being used directly as part of grant applications and recently helped to secure a $250,000 grant for a pilot project of the technology in Bangladesh.

The Foundation for Genomics and Population Health (PHG Foundation) invited us to participate in their framework for action on birth defects programme to investigate the effects of environmental teratogens in developing countries. We undertook a literature review, which has contributed to the programme’s goal of providing governments in low- and middle-income countries with tools and data to tackle birth defects in their populations. The resulting toolkit has been published in the Journal of Public Health (Nacul et al. 2013) and can be accessed here.

As a result of this work for the PHG Foundation, Costello Medical is a member of the Born Healthy community, a collective of international organisations which support the call for countries to act now to give children the healthiest possible start.

Details of organisational funders and supporters of the project can be found here.

We have worked with Giving What We Can to identify diseases that may be significantly hindering economic growth in low income countries, but are not currently recognised as such, which has important implications for the resolution of poverty. We performed systematic literature reviews to investigate the current evidence base for the impact of nutrient deficiencies and a variety of neglected tropical diseases on economic outputs. The results of our reviews have been published on the Giving What We Can website e blog.

Previously with Giving What We Can, we explored how the contagiousness of a disease can be taken into account when evaluating cost-effectiveness. Our findings were published in a blog entitled ‘The Contagiousness Modifier.’