Vacsera plays an essential role in the domain of public health in Egypt. It was created in 2003 as a governmentowned company, working under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health. Vacsera is the only manufacturer of vaccines and biological products in the country. It also maintains the main Egyptian blood bank, is one of two suppliers of insulin products nationwide, and has a number of laboratories which operate in compliance with strict international standards. These laboratories include the regional polio laboratory. Furthermore, the company plays an important role in research activities related to the rich historical and cultural heritage of Egypt, such as collecting the DNA of mummies.
Vacsera has five affiliated companies that focus on the production of vaccines, sera, and pharmaceuticals; biotech products; blood services and products; and diagnostics and veterinary products. While the holding company is an arm of the Ministry of Health, the affiliated companies work as private legal entities, and have their own boards of directors that decide their own policies and strategies. This institutional structure presents many advantages for the organisation; being both public and private, it enjoys the firm support of the Ministry of Health, while having all the incentives usually found in the private sector.
Vacsera is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and is committed to implementing the ten universally accepted principles with regard to human rights, labour, the environment, and anticorruption. To this end, the company has adopted clear and innovative policies and strategies that address basic human rights in order to protect its employees’ rights, improve working conditions, and benefit the surrounding community. The package of benefits are summarised below.
Vacsera provides wide-ranging medical services for its employees, either free of charge or at a reduced cost. Employees participate in the company’s health insurance scheme, which requires a very low monthly contribution. Employees and their first-degree relatives have access to services in established clinics in various specialties free of charge, and they receive a 25% discount for any laboratory tests. Vacsera also has a contract with a hospital where the employees can obtain the best healthcare at very low fees. Any medical services or vaccines produced by the company are sold to employees at cost price.
Vacsera gives its employees or their beneficiaries the advantage of receiving 181 months’ salary as a retirement bonus, or to the families, should the employee pass away.
Support in exceptional circumstances
Vacsera has established a “committee for social assistance” to support employees who are undergoing exceptional hardship, either financially or socially, by providing them with the support they need to overcome their problems.
Training for employees
Vacsera has established a training centre that gives employees the opportunity to undertake further studies in different fields. The studies are fully funded by the company and, during the study period, the employee is allowed paid leave of absence to study and attend examinations. Through this system, hundreds of employees annually obtain qualifications ranging from diplomas and degrees in IT, intellectual property, and quality management, to MBAs. Employees also have the opportunity to prepare for a doctoral degree abroad.
Vacsera also organises free literacy classes within the company and as a result the company has managed to eliminate illiteracy among its workers.