By helping drive product development and safeguarding sustainable access and delivery in African and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) use an integrated approach to improve innovation and access to health technologies for populations in need.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development features health prominently among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with SDG3 setting an ambitious target to end the epidemics of tuberculosis (TB), malaria, AIDS and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2030. SDG3 stresses the critical need for health systems strengthening, achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and research and development (R&D) on new medicines, diagnostics and vaccines – as well as enabling equitable access to these new health technologies as they emerge. The need for synergies between R&D for new health technologies and their access and delivery is clear, and addressing both aspects is critical to enabling LMICs to achieve UHC.
The Government of Japan is partnering with UNDP through two initiatives that address both sides of the health equation in LMICs: driving R&D for unmet health needs; and promoting access and delivery to essential health services. Through the GHIT Fund, the Government of Japan is stimulating investments, as well as global partnerships, for the discovery and development of medicines, diagnostics and vaccines for TB, malaria, NTDs and other diseases. And through ADP, support and technical assistance is provided to LMICs to strengthen capacities, processes and systems to ensure accelerated introduction of such health technologies.
At the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), to be held in Yokohama, Japan, ADP, GHIT and UN Volunteers are cosponsoring the side event: Partnering for Progress: Promoting Innovation and Access for Neglected Diseases in furtherance of Universal Health Coverage. The objective of the session is to stimulate a dialogue with stakeholders on how the collaborative partnership between UNDP and the Government of Japan can contribute to the attainment of UHC. To participate in the side-event, please go to https://bit.ly/2GFFTDz .
The event will present major achievements and highlight valuable lessons learnt from country-level activities implemented in Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Tanzania, and ongoing efforts to support the African Union initiative to promote regulatory harmonization across the African region. The annual ADP Status Report, which gives more detail on these projects and achievements in 2018 can be accessed here.
Supporting the region
Since 2013, ADP has supported countries in the African region to address challenges in the access and delivery of health technologies, by helping implement systems and approaches that have far-reaching impacts.
Examples include promoting the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization initiative through support to development and use of the African Union (AU) Model Law on Medical Products Regulation, establishment of a health technology assessment (HTA) knowledge platform, and creating opportunities for dialogue and South–South learning across the innovation, access and delivery chain.
In January 2019, the Government of Japan, ADP and the GHIT Fund also launched Uniting Efforts for Health, a platform to facilitate dialogue among innovation, access and delivery stakeholders, to improve outcomes for unmet health needs in LMICs. The report on the first meeting can be accessed here.
Other highlights include establishment of the African chapter of the Coalition of Interested Partners to improve capacity building of national regulatory systems and an initiative to maximize the efficacy, safety and efficiency of new TB treatment strategies in 44 African countries through enhanced implementation research and pharmacovigilance.
Central to ADP’s approach is the belief that governments must continue to scale up their investments in innovation and new health technologies, so that UHC and good health and well-being can be attained for all. The aim of the Partnering for Progress event is to share lessons learned to ensure mutual exchange and learning.
Partnering for Progress: Promoting Innovation and Access for Neglected Diseases in furtherance of Universal Health Coverage takes place on Wednesday 28th August, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at Exhibition Hall B04, Pacifico Yokohama. It will feature opening remarks by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, a keynote speech by Senator Keizo Takemi, House of Councillors of Japan, and a panel of speakers, comprising the Hon. Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health Ghana; H.E. Amira Elfadil, Commissioner of Social Affairs, African Union; Ms. Catherine Ohura, CEO GHIT Fund; and Mr. Kaoru Terashima, Corporate Vice President, FujiFilm. The event will be moderated by Dr Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of the HIV, Health and Development Group at UNDP.