The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes ambitious targets to promote healthy lives and well-being, including the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Despite the goals that United Nations Member States set for themselves, some dimensions of global health have not changed at the same pace.
Tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) persist as diseases of poverty and inequality, disproportionately impacting the poorest and most vulnerable people and communities. Despite recent progress, UHC remains a distant goal in many low- and middle-income countries, many of which lack the coordinated policies and processes needed to guide the selection, introduction and scale-up of health technologies. Achieving UHC requires substantial shifts towards policy coherence, and the scaling up of partnerships and investments.
With this context, the Government of Japan is partnering with UNDP through two initiatives that address both sides of the health equation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): promoting research and development (R&D) for unmet health needs; and promoting access to and delivery of health technologies. The two Government of Japan-UNDP initiatives are described below:
The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund focuses on investments in the discovery and development of medicines, diagnostics and vaccines (referred to as health technologies) for TB, malaria, NTDs and other diseases. The GHIT Fund supports partnerships and identifies global opportunities for collaboration with Japanese organizations involved in the R&D of global health technologies.
Once available, the introduction of new health technologies can place significant burden on existing health systems in LMICs, including challenges relating to affordability, regulatory control, selection and prioritization, supply and distribution, and safety monitoring. Accordingly, the Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) supports countries to strengthen the policies, human capacities, systems and regulations needed to ensure that medicines, vaccines and diagnostics ultimately reach the people who need them.
ADP brings together UNDP, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and PATH in a unique partnership that helps identify and strengthen related capacity gaps in LMICs in an innovative and integrated manner. These interlinked projects reflect more than ever the specific needs for improving health and development outcomes through building strong, resilient and sustainable health systems.
With four core partners – UNDP, WHO, TDR and PATH – consolidating their broad scope of experience and expertise, ADP is well provides expanded policy and technical support to strengthen capacities and institutions for the introduction and scale-up of health technologies.
Drawing on achievements and lessons during its previous phase in 2013–2018, ADP will scale up its work between now and 2023 by deepening its impact and expanding its country coverage. Three overlapping collaborative approaches are adopted with countries:
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