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Welcome to the January 2018 issue of Access Today, a monthly email newsletter from Access Accelerated with news and updates on the global fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Since launching at the World Economic Forum in January 2017, Access Accelerated member companies have continued to work tirelessly toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030. We’re committed to achieving this goal and are optimistic for Year 2 of the Access Accelerated initiative.

In our last issue, we discussed why access to proper NCD care is a fundamental human right. Today, we’ll begin the new year by looking at how the growing NCD burden weighs heavily on the world’s aging population and existing health systems.


In 2012, the number of people in the world who were 60 years or older reached approximately 810 million[1] – a number that points to the many advancements and achievements in public health around the world. Though, as the population of older adults grows, it is also important to recognize that there will be new health care challenges ahead. 

For seniors, good health means independence, security and continued productivity, but NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes can diminish quality of life, raise individual and systemic health care costs, and increase pressure on family caregivers.[2] 

No longer a “disease of affluence,” NCDs take a heavy toll on individuals over the age of 60 in low and middle-income countries and the challenges facing countries confronted by demographic and epidemiological transitions are significant:

  • The number of people aged 60 years or older will rise to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050 (moving from 12% to 22% of the total global population); [3] and
  • Heart disease – the leading cause of death worldwide – is expected to increase by 120% for women and 137% for men in LMICs by 2020.[4] 


Pfizer is Improving Healthy Aging Through a Life Course Approach
Pfizer has invested in an initiative to help reduce the burden of NCDs on families, health systems and communities by promoting healthy lifestyles across the life course including increasing screening and treatment, and influencing policies in low and middle-income countries.
Collaborating for Health is a data-informed and human-centered approach that starts with an understanding of the challenges older people face and supports communities to co-design responses.Read more.


India Hemophilia Home Care
Hemophilia is a rare, chronic, lifelong condition, and while an estimated 400,000 people worldwide are living with the disease, only 25 percent receive adequate treatment. Shire piloted a project in Mumbai, in partnership with King Edward Medical College (KEM), to build capacity and generate evidence for an effective, first-of-its-kind, hemophilia home care model in India to prevent and reduce bleeds. With Shire’s support, KEM was able to adopt a home care protocol, obtain training material, deploy software technology, allocate human resources and set up the infrastructure for home administration of clotting factor. Read more.

Novartis Foundation Announces New Partners & Third Location for Better Hearts Better Cities
Less than a year since its launch, the Novartis Foundation urban initiative, Better Hearts Better Cities, has made significant progress in mobilizing a broad network of partners and developing a framework for action to improve cardiovascular health across the selected cities. The first wave of interventions is being rolled out in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Dakar, Senegal, and is now also planned to begin in São Paulo, Brazil. Read more.


4 February: World Cancer Day
Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. For more information, visit the World Cancer Day website.
15 February: International Childhood Cancer Day
International Childhood Cancer Day is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. The day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges relevant to childhood cancer and the impact on children/adolescents with cancer, the survivors, their families and society as a whole. It also spotlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere. For more information, visit the ICCD website.


Please contact us at with any questions and follow the conversation around industry actions to tackle NCDs on Twitter at @NCDAccess and on our


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