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Standing room only at the Access Accelerated WHA Side Event

“Collaboration is absolutely fundamental to make NCDs a priority,” said Tim Evans of the World Bank yesterday at a special World Health Assembly event co- hosted by Access Accelerated and Paraguay’s Ministry of Health in Geneva, Switzerland.

A sentiment that is at the heart of the Access Accelerated initiative, expert panelists reinforced the need for multisector approaches to NCD care at the event “Partnerships And the SDGs: Accelerating Access To NCD Care” attended by global health leaders. TV news anchor Shiulie Ghosh moderated the three lightening round panels spanning topics including cancer prevention in “learning cities,” the economic impact of NCDs, and private industry’s role in developing sustainable solutions to NCDs.

Cary Adams, the CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and Miguel Candia Ibarra, the First Secretary of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Paraguay to the United Nations discussed the UICC’s C/Can 2025 program and a focus on one of the first “learning cities,” Paraguay.  Adams reinforced the importance of industry participation in addressing the growing cancer burden around the world, whilst Candia highlighted the importance of local ownership in designing effective programs.

Addressing the wider economic value of health, Tim Evans of the World Bank noted the ’virtuous circle of better health leading to better growth leading to better employment’. Evans noted the need for innovative financing in NCD care, as far too many patients have to pay for care themselves and prompted a dual call-to-action for healthcare providers to change the global health culture from start-ups to scale-ups and to put greater focus on innovation for service delivery.

Ann Aerts, head of the Novartis Foundation, and Katie Dain, Executive Director of the NCD Alliance also addressed the need for patient-centered approaches to NCD care and the necessity of co-designing programs with patients and local stakeholders. Dain highlighted that all PPPs require mutuality of interest as well as a shared view of the goals and a focus on equity: “We need to connect the dots between access to NCD care and economic gender equality.” Aerts pointed to a recently launched  Initiative, Better Hearts Better Cities, a multisector approach to tackling cardiovascular health in low-income urban communities.

Thomas Cueni closed the event by reaffirming the value of the industry’s role and its commitment to partnership in addressing the NCD burden calling out several programs launched as part of the Access Accelerated initiative, including Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Global Hope Initiative, Pfizer’s Hypertension in Myanmar, Astellas’s second phase of Action on Fistula and Daiichi-Sankyo’s healthcare clinic initiative in Tanzania. The live stream video of the event can be viewed here.

Thomas Cueni speaks at the Access Accelerated WHA Side Event


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