A message from the Access Accelerated Leadership team
As we approach the end of 2023, the current global health landscape invites us to reassess our efforts in addressing the growing global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This year has been a mix of progress and challenges. The increasing recognition by governments of the urgency of tackling NCDs and their role in achieving universal health coverage (UHC), alongside a growing focus on the need for sustainable health financing, is encouraging. However, the path towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been uneven and has recently been complicated by a series of global crises that have stretched resources and put additional pressures on healthcare systems.
Despite these complexities, Access Accelerated remains focused on our mission to improve access to quality care for people living with NCDs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as part of UHC. Over the years, we’ve been inspired by the commitment and efforts of our partners, including City Cancer Challenge, the NCD Alliance, PATH, the World Bank, and the World Heart Federation, as they completed several successful projects and continued other NCD-focused programs. Their impactful initiatives – from expanding mental health programs in Chile, to tackling the rising NCD burden in Kosovo, and to integrating NCDs at the primary and community levels in Kenya – showcase the remarkable achievements made possible through partnership. These efforts not only make a difference today, but through the sharing of learnings and insights across communities and countries, they are laying the groundwork for future impactful programs.
The past year was also rich in meaningful dialogues and exchanges. In March, our panel discussion co-hosted with Chatham House in London and Boston University focused on the measurement, evaluation, and reporting mechanisms of partnerships to improve access to quality care. Our side event during the World Health Assembly in May featured an impressive panel that emphasized the need for accelerated, coordinated action toward the 2030 health-related SDGs goals. Finally, this past September our UNGA side-event roundtable on integrating health financing to achieve UHC and NCD targets, co-hosted with NCD Alliance, the World Bank and the World Diabetes Foundation, served as an important precursor to next year’s second Global Dialogue on Financing National NCD Responses.
One of the landmark moments of 2023 was the UN’s endorsement of the second political declaration on UHC. The renewed commitments by member states calling for strengthened primary healthcare and sufficient, sustainable investments to achieve UHC, aligns very well with our mission at Access Accelerated, and further underscores the value of our efforts.
This year also marked a leadership transition for Access Accelerated, with the retirement of Martin Bernhardt and the welcoming of Herb Riband as interim director. Under Herb’s steady leadership, we are working towards a dynamic, next phase of Access Accelerated that builds on a solid foundation. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing details regarding the new technical partnership with the World Bank which aims to catalyze additional funding for governments and local stakeholders to address NCDs, as part of UHC packages, with a focus on building strong primary healthcare services.
The progress we have made to date and the plans we have for the future are a testament to the unwavering dedication of our global network of partners, collaborators, and member companies. We would like to thank them for their past and present collaborations, invaluable contributions, and much-appreciated support.
We enter the new year with a sense of pragmatic optimism, ready to embrace the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. The path forward may be complex, but through our collective efforts we can and will make a meaningful difference in the lives of people living with NCDs.
Access Accelerated Leadership team
Michael Fredrich, Chair
Sara Martin, Vice-Chair
Takanori Sato, Vice-Chair
Herb Riband, Interim Director