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Accelerating Health

A podcast brought to you by Access Accelerated, produced by BBC StoryWorks, Accelerating Health takes a deep dive into the projects, policies, and investments that are supporting and building back resilient health systems.

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Season 2

Join Access Accelerated in their latest 7-part podcast series as they discuss everything from the gender dynamics of healthcare and economics to the technological and creative transformations of health systems, as these conversations seek to discover how we can improve healthcare for the non-communicable disease (NCD) community across the world.

Innovative Ideation

Episode 1

80% of all deaths from NCDs happen in lower-and middle-income countries.

The story of NCDs in these parts of the world is not merely one of health inequality and hardship – it is also a story of hope, innovation, and the people pushing for better health against all odds. This episode explores the challenges that demand creativity in their approach, and the visionaries who are working with what they have to make lasting change.

Join journalist Julie Macdonald as she talks to the people who live and breathe healthcare: Lea Kilenga, executive director of Africa Sickle Cell Organization; Israel Bimpe, director Africa Go to Market, Zipline; and Phangisile Mtshali, director of Africa programs for the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation.

Transformative Technology

Episode 2

What do your smart devices connect you to?

Beyond connecting with friends, technology holds the potential to connect communities to vital healthcare services, particularly in countries with a high concentration of non-communicable disease diagnoses. But incorporating this technology into a health system comes with the unique challenges posed by each country – from geographical terrain, availability of data, and even the trust of its’ citizens.

Join journalist Julie Macdonald in conversation as she discusses the future of technology in healthcare with Dr. Conrad Tankou, founder of GIC Health; James Music PhD, global head of personalised healthcare, Roche; and Imodoye Abioro, founder of Healthbotics (Lagos).

Productive People

Episode 3

What is the link between health and wealth?

This episode of the Accelerating Health podcast dives into the economics of our health, why investing in people matters, and how existing gender gaps can be compounded by non-communicable diseases. Tune in to hear Julie Macdonald, journalist, discuss the economics of health with Sir George Alleyne, director emeritus, PAHO; and Prof Bina Agarwal, professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, UK and former director at the Institute of Economic Growth.

Activating Generations

Episode 4

Children need to be seen and heard when it comes to their health.

Non-communicable diseases affect many young people across the world – so the importance of early intervention and education is crucial for a future generation of healthy adults. This episode looks at the tools and ways we can engage and care for our youngest citizens. This episode is hosted by consultant paediatrician and presenter Dr. Ravi Jayaram, who dives into discussion with Joab Wako, founder of Transplant Education (Kenya), Anita Bulindi, who lives with Type 1 diabetes; and Dr. Adeline Edgal, Chief Scientific Officer at Novartis Sub-Saharan Africa(Ghana).

Representation Matters

Episode 5

Gender, identity, sexuality and racial inequity are some of the vitally important conversations that are coming to the fore in healthcare

As awareness grows of the variation disparities in people’s lived experiences, it’s time to discuss how noncommunicable diseases are experienced, treated, and managed across different sections of society.

Consultant paediatrician and presenter Dr Ravi Jayaram returns to the show to lead this electric conversation between Sheila Tlou Motswana, co-chair of the Nursing Now Global Campaign and Global HIV Prevention Coalition; Midnight Poonkasetwattana, executive director of APCOM; and Dr Anthony Yanni, Senior Vice President and Head of Patient Centricity at Astellas.

Challenging climates

Episode 6

Crises, conflict, and climate change make treating chronic conditions incredibly challenging - not to mention that treatments are often side-lined by more ostensibly pressing problems.

Future Landscapes

Episode 7

What could the world's rising urban populations mean for healthcare? Cities have always been places of intrigue and excitement, bustle and business, but their seemingly endless expansions can pose both opportunities and challenges to the health of their inhabitants.

Season 1

Season one of the Accelerating Health podcast explored the bright spots, new initiatives, and partnerships that are supporting resilient health systems during COVID-19 and in the future. Over seven episodes, we looked beyond where systems break down to the positives – the projects, policies, and investments that have been successful – and the organizations and leaders that are making a difference, all through the lens of people living with NCDs.

The Matters of Minds

Episode 1

Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse affect about one billion people across the world and are the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Yet, mental health services – like those of other NCDs – are severely under-funded and under-resourced in many low- and middle-income countries.

Hosted by Marverine Cole and featuring guests Victor Ugo, Senior Campaign Officer for United for Global Mental Health, Hauwa Ojeifo, Founder and Executive Director of She Writes Women, and Dirk Teuwen, VP of Corporate Responsibility

The Challenge of Cancer

Episode 2

What is the real challenge of cancer?

We’ll explore economic and socio-economic costs, as well as the innovative solutions that are being put in place to treat one of the world’s most complex, expensive diseases. This episode will also look at the current state of cancer care, how countries and cities are innovating to improve access to lifesaving care, and how countries can ensure cancer services are included in national UHC packages.

Hosted by Julie Macdonald and featuring guests Dr. Susan Henshall, CEO of the City Cancer Challenge, Dr. Githinji Gitah, CEO of Amref Health Africa, and Dr. Patricia Doykos, Lead of Health Equity Initiative and the Director of the BMS Foundation for Bristol Myers Squibb.

The Scars of Stigma

Episode 3

Many people in low- and middle-income countries share similar stories of receiving late-stage diagnoses.

Stigma can often contribute to delays in individuals seeking health care services, but it is not limited to patients – it can also impact health care providers and result in low rates of screening for preventable or treatable diseases. Overcoming stigma and changing cultural norms can support the delivery of quality health care and result in better health outcomes for patients.

Hosted by Marverine Cole and featuring guests Diana Gittens, a member of the Global Advisory Committee for Our Views, Our Voices, Joshua Makubu, Project Coordinator of Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, and Matej Košir, Director, NGO Utrip Institute.

The Dynamics of Data

Episode 4

We cannot stop the COVID-19 pandemic, or any health crisis, without understanding the scale of the problem before us.

Data can help paint a picture to understand the scale of a health problem and chart a course forward for response. Data can also help us monitor how trends are changing around the world, and what programs and interventions are most successful. In this episode, we’ll seek to better understand how data and information-sharing can help communities address NCD prevalence and risk factors.

Hosted by Marverine Cole and featuring guests Jeremy Veillard of the World Bank, Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Director of Project ECHO

The Policies of Prevention

Episode 5

How can we prevent NCDs rather than cure them? What factors can be caught early and how can that improve health outcomes?

This episode will look at biological, behavioral and socio-economic factors that can help prevent NCDs, and what policies and strategies can be implemented to support prevention.

The Leaders of the Future

Episode 6

NCDs are a challenge beyond the health sector.

Leadership in the NCD response can achieve impact, with involvement from Heads of State or Government, as emphasized by the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs and Mental Health. The causes, impacts and solutions often require initiatives from not only the Ministries of Health but other government departments and various public and private organizations.

The Consequences of COVID-19 (9 June)

Episode 7

What happens to people living with NCDs during a global pandemic?

We’ll look at how disruptions in care may prove more deadly than the virus itself and how investments in infrastructure, policy and capacity needed to manage infectious diseases can also support the response to chronic conditions long-term.


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