On 27 February 2014, Indonesia launched a new initiative to increase access and delivery of health technologies for tuberculosis (TB), malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The initiative, known as the “Access and Delivery Partnership”, was launched by Prof. Agus Purwadianto, Senior Adviser to the Minister of Health Indonesia, in the presence of over 20 policy makers from government agencies in Indonesia.

The Access and Delivery Partnership is a jointly implemented project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), and PATH, an international, non-profit global health organization.

Policy makers from the various Directorates within the Ministry of Health addressing disease control, health care financing, strategic policy and planning, and health technologies and globalization; the Directorate of Patent of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights; the National Agency of Food and Drug Control; the National Public Procurement Agency; the National Development Planning Agency (BAPENAS); the Country Coordinating Mechanism on Global Fund Indonesia and the Kimia Farma pharmaceutical company, participated in the two-day project planning workshop held in Bandung on 26-27 February. The workshop was organized by UNDP, TDR and PATH.

Clifton Cortez, Practice Leader of HIV, Health and Development, UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, highlighted the integrated approach of the Access and Delivery Partnership at the opening of the project planning workshop on 26 February. He said, “UNDP is excited to be involved in the Access and Delivery Partnership because it offers a multi-disciplinary and innovative approach to address complex substantive and systemic challenges”. 

In consultation with the policy makers in Indonesia, the Partnership will work towards identifying and addressing bottlenecks within the health system to ensure the effective introduction of new health technologies. The Partnership will seek to work together to strengthen health system capacities in Indonesia under five key areas: coherent policy and legal frameworks; enhanced capacity for evaluation of epidemiological studies to identify country specific needs; strengthened health sector capacity for monitoring of Phase IV clinical trials; improved capacity to ensure sustainable financing, and developed capacity for commercialization to ensure appropriate pricing and adequate supply; and enhanced capacity in supply chain and delivery systems.

In his remarks at the close of the workshop, Prof. Agus Purwadianto expressed his satisfaction that the new initiative would contribute to the objectives of the Indonesian Integrated Plan of Action for Neglected Tropical Diseases (2011-2015), which aims to achieve the elimination and sustained control of the most important neglected tropical diseases in Indonesia: lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, leprosy, yaws and soil-transmitted helminths. He noted that Indonesia has improved treatment and monitoring of TB and is on track to eliminate malaria by 2030.

Prof. Agus also expressed his appreciation for the health systems approach of the Partnership, and also noted the participation of the policy makers from beyond the health sector: “I am pleased that the Access and Delivery Partnership has made the effort to facilitate consultations with the various government agencies involved. This workshop demonstrates the spirit of collaboration, which will be critical for the success of the capacity strengthening activities under the Partnership.”

The Access and Delivery Partnership is made possible by UNDP funding from the Government of Japan under its Global Health Policy 2011- 2015 to stimulate new approaches and new technologies to tackle TB, malaria and NTDs.

Deni Fauzi is Programme Manager at the UNDP Country Office in Indonesia.