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In lead up to TICAD, Japan shows commitment to global health

Japanese Companies – Six Cross Cutting Principles

As Japanese engagement in solving global health challenges increases, we asked Access member companies for their perspective on how to put our six cross-cutting principles into practice. These principles lay the foundation for effective design in public health programming, and for our Japanese member companies, are vital for articulating commitments and making an impact.

1. Patient-Centered Approach
At Eisai, the Remember I Love You program demonstrates the principle of taking a patient-centered approach to program design. The company said, “Our employees visit patients and their families across the country and communicate directly with them. This is in line with our corporate philosophy to understand the feelings of patients and their families and increase their benefits.”
 
2. Strong Local Ownership and Engagement
When programs align with existing systems and empower local stakeholders, member companies see that programs make a greater impact. As said by Osamu Chihara of Astellas Pharma Inc., “Community outreach and mobilization are essential to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and identify and refer women in need of fistula treatment. Action on Fistula, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Kenya, is training and equipping Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to more effectively reach all women across Kenya suffering from fistula and connect them to treatment.”

Kumiko Furusho, Fumiya Domoto and Fumiko Kiyonaga (Astellas)

3. Substantive Partnerships
Sustainable Development Goal 17 is devoted to fostering strong partnerships and member companies, such as Takeda, have seen the benefits of building relationships where all parties have a shared vision and goal. “Deepening partnerships is vital, and the most effective way to mobilize constrained resources and allocate them in ways to ensure the most impactful activities,” said Takeda’s Yosuke Sugiyama. “With the guidance and leadership of the Japanese government, Takeda has been contributing to and catalyzing innovative partnerships in the global health arena such as The Global Fund and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund.”

4. Sustainable, Equitable Solutions
For biopharmaceutical companies in Japan and beyond, program and solution sustainability is of the utmost importance. “We make efforts to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through our businesses, but we understand there are many gaps that need to be solved to truly accelerate access to healthcare,” said Megumi Maruyama of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. “Our collective action beyond medicine could be one of the strongest strategies to achieve the SDGs.”

Takanori Sato and Yosuke Sugiyama (Takeda)

5. Innovation and Continuous Learning
Programs that prioritize innovation are flexible and creative in the face of challenges and frequently review their results to identify opportunities for improvement. Chugai’s Health Camp Against NCDs program not only addresses challenges in detecting and treating diseases in rural communities, but also showcases the great potential of pilot interventions to expand and grow based on past learnings. “This year, the program was a pilot case and the number of villages were limited,” said Chugai’s Aya Harada and Ichiro Yoshida. “However, the ministry of health and sports in Myanmar focuses on NCDs now and the health department in the pilot district is interested in our program. We are motivated and considering expanding the scope next year.”
 
6. Rigorous Transparency and Measurement
Access Accelerated member companies share key learnings as a way to improve global health program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Reflecting on their approach to cultivating community health workers in China, Daiichi Sankyo’s Global Health Team recognized the importance of capacity building for healthcare professionals and standardizing diagnoses by implementing Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) training programs. This approach combined with maternal and child health programs to improve health awareness in communities, led to synergies across the wider region. Activities and learnings are regularly reported on.

Jun Yamamoto, Osamu Watanabe, Kanako Takahashi, Katsuhiro Kawakami and Tsuyoshi Watanabe (Daiichi Sankyo Global Health Team)

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