The access agenda isn’t just about making drugs freely available in developing countries, Mark Hillson reports. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to tackle the dearth of trained health workers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the world’s great killers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, along with cancer and diabetes, are the cause of seven deaths out of every 10, including 15 million people a year who are in the prime of their lives (30-69), most of whom come from developing countries.

“NCDs are a growing global health challenge, and they represent a huge economic burden, particularly in low- and middle-income countries,” explains Frances Longley, chief executive of Amref Health Africa UK, an NGO at the forefront of improving people’s access to healthcare, especially those living in the continent’s remotest areas. “Yet the fight against NCDs receives comparatively little attention, and is consistently underfunded.”

If the world is to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being, and make universal health coverage a reality by 2030, she says, “the global health community must step up its efforts to combat NCDs”.

Without strenghening CHWs we really won‘t be able to have the improved patient health outcomes that we desire

There is a growing recognition among pharmaceutical companies that they have a responsibility to respond to the challenge of access to medicines. From bodies such as...

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non-communicable disease  SDG3  Novartis  Takeda  Amref Health  GSK  community health workers  Global Healthcare  Amref 

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