Jayasree K. Iyer to chair panel on barriers to NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa

Access to Medicine Foundation

On 26 August in Nairobi, African leaders and the Japanese government will come together to discuss trade, investment and development at the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI). Given the recent Ebola crisis and emergence of Zika, the need for stronger health systems across the continent is once again high on the agenda.

In a TICAD side-event, Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation, will chair a panel discussion about the challenge of treating non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The side-event is hosted by Takeda.

“For the poor in Africa, the barriers to treatment for lifestyle diseases, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, are generally very high,” says Jayasree. “Diagnosis and treatment are often complex and expensive, even where the facilities exist within reasonable distances. In TICAD, we have a forum for talking about real solutions. There are plenty of good ideas and best practices out there that need more attention.”

Jayasree will chair a multi-disciplinary panel of experts, including academics, NGO leaders, government ministers, pharma industry representatives and health practitioners from sub-Saharan Africa. Together, they will unpick the main challenges to providing access to care for patients with non-communicable diseases:

  1. What prevents people in Africa from accessing treatments for cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases?
  2. What does best practice look like for improving African healthcare systems?
  3. What role is there for public-private partnerships and what are the alternatives?
  4. What is the role for ‘Big Data’ in improving healthcare systems?

The panelists are:

  • Marc Dybul, Executive Director, Global Fund
  • Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Kenya Country Director, AMREF health Africa
  • Dr. Patricia Odero, East Africa Regional Director, Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator, Duke University
  • Dr. Kibachio Joseph Mwangi, Head of NCD Division, Ministry of Health Kenya
  • Dr Emmanuel Ndahiro, Rwanda Military Hospital
  • Prof. Raj Jutley, Chairman, Pan-Africa Heart Foundation
  • Giles Platford, President, Emerging Markets, Takeda
  • Dr. Chite Asirwa, Medical Co-Director, Ampath Hematology Oncology

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About the Access to Medicine Foundation

The Access to Medicine Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. It aims to advance access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries by stimulating and guiding the pharmaceutical industry to play a greater role in improving access to medicine. The Foundation is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for International Development. For ten years, the Foundation has been building consensus on the role for the pharmaceutical industry in improving access to medicine and vaccines. It published its first benchmark of industry activity in this area in 2008, in the first Access to Medicine Index. The fifth Access to Medicine Index will be published in 2016.