Projects to inform policies for more effective NCD care solutions in low- and middle-income countries


Geneva (December 14, 2020) – Access Accelerated and the World Bank Group today announced they will jointly fund seven new projects to address barriers to non-communicable disease (NCD) care across 20 countries. The projects are designed to improve NCD service delivery, policy and patient care and are a key way Access Accelerated is achieving its mission to transform how the private sector can accelerate global progress on NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. Working closely with country government partners, the projects will also generate evidence to inform the scale-up of solutions that can be applied in other countries and regions.


All projects align with and build upon country-led health priorities and each project has been optimized to address the impact of COVID-19. NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are already the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Those living with NCDs may be at greater risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19.


Now, in the fourth year of  partnership between the World Bank and Access Accelerated, this latest set of projects adds to a growing portfolio of NCD prevention, treatment and care programs. Access Accelerated funding helped catalyze new investments in NCDs for low- and middle-income countries, and now, the World Bank is leading a $2.1 billion dollar NCD portfolio that is driving sustainable solutions in 33 countries. The partnership leverages the different strengths and contributions of the two organizations. The World Bank Group brings global policy knowledge and technical expertise in health system strengthening while Access Accelerated brings innovation and insights from the private sector.


“Since 2017, our collaboration has made the economic and human capital case to prioritize NCDs in national health policies,” said Andreas Seiter, Global Lead for Private Sector in the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. “These projects will help developing country governments translate valuable evidence into policy action and investment.”


“The World Bank and Access Accelerated partnership is one way the private sector is addressing systematic barriers to NCD care that persist in low- and middle-income country health systems,” said Dirk Teuwen, Vice President of Medical Sustainability at UCB. “We will learn a great deal from the insights gained from these projects that can ensure we reach more patients with effective, evidence-based NCD prevention, treatment and care.”


“Access Accelerated is proud to expand our partnership with the World Bank during this urgent time for people living with non-communicable diseases,” said Dr. James Headen Pfitzer, Director of Access Accelerated. “Our new projects will produce much-needed data and knowledge to improve NCD service delivery amidst the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


The seven projects will address:

  • Primary health care in urban Bangladesh: The availability of NCD primary health care services is limited in Bangladesh, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable households in urban areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated NCD service disruptions and the project will explore models of care and digital solutions to close the gap.
    Advancing the NCD agenda in Myanmar: In Myanmar, hospital admission data indicates that over 40 percent of the morbidity and over 50 percent of the mortality in hospitals can be attributed to NCDs. The project seeks to support health security, build sustainable health financing and improve and adapt service delivery models to deliver essential health services.
  • The growing burden of cancer in Kenya: Only 16 percent of Kenyan women have ever been screened for cervical cancer, and with NCDs rising rapidly countrywide, the government of Kenya is taking steps to advance prevention and control. The project will generate evidence to inform public policy, with a focus on assessing the financial costs and the socio-economic benefits of rolling out the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls at ages 10-13.
  • Human capital development in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Gabon: NCDs are estimated to account for over a third of all deaths in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Gabon, where health budgets are already stretched thin. The project will generate data on investments in NCD prevention and control as a pathway to human capital development and economic prosperity.
  • Community-based mental health in the Latin America region: According to the Pan American Health Association, mental health costs low-income countries 435 times the amount they invest in addressing it. The project will address mental health services bottlenecks in Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay with a focus on community-based interventions, health systems strengthening and knowledge-sharing among participating countries.
  • Health care services for patients with multiple chronic conditions: In Colombia, Costa Rica and the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, patients with multimorbidity (the presence of two or more chronic conditions) face challenges accessing integrated care that meets their complex, and often costly, health needs. The project will test multimorbidity management models and analyze patient care to better equip health systems for these cases.
  • Barriers to NCD care in Europe and Central Asia: As the burden of NCDs escalates in this region, countries will require substantial service delivery and health financing reforms to see progress. In Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia and Belarus, the project will improve prevention and management of NCDs through policy advocacy and capacity building.


About Access Accelerated
Launched in 2017, Access Accelerated is transforming how the private sector can accelerate global progress on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries. With more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies and five implementing partners, Access Accelerated is the largest collective industry effort to address inequities in NCD prevention, treatment and care while also responding to COVID-19 as today’s pandemic severely impacts people living with NCDs. Together, we are working to inform local and global health policies, accelerate investment in NCDs and advance strong partnerships. Our member companies are Almirall, Astellas, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chiesi, Chugai, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eisai, Ipsen, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Menarini Group, Merck, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Servier, Shionogi,Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd, Takeda and UCB. Our member trade organizations are BIO, Efpia, IFPMA, JPMA and PhRMA.