Leveraging the power of partnerships to strengthen healthcare in Africa

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Novartis has a long-standing commitment to extending and improving the lives of people in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to the largest undeserved patient population in the world. To cement its commitment, which strongly speaks to access and health equity, Novartis embarked on a new strategic direction in 2019 to broaden patient reach across the full income pyramid.

Novartis Africa

Health system strengthening is a critical component in a region that shoulders a quarter of the global disease, with only 3% of the world’s health workers1. To this end, Novartis is working with broad-spectrum partners in the public sector, such as Governments, NGOs, Faith-Based Organisations and the private sector. 

To give some perspective on how Novartis is leveraging the power of partnerships to strengthen healthcare systems in Africa: 

Governments and Ministries of Health 

AMSP – Africa Medical Supplies PlatformNovartis SSA and the African Union (AU), through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) announced a collaboration to facilitate the supply of medicines from the Novartis Pandemic Response Portfolio to the AU member states at zero profit. 

Sickle Cell Disease ProgramWe announced a broad public-private partnership with the government of Ghana to tackle sickle cell disease, including access to available medicine, clinical research and the use of digital technologies to achieve global standards of care in 2018. We have expanded our commitment through similar memorandums of understanding in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. 

Partnerships with Donors/ Donor related agencies 

United Nations Foundation Commitment through the Healthy Family ProgrammeIn 2020- 2023, Novartis committed to supporting 20,000 women in improving their reproductive health and reaching 10,000 girls by providing sanitary towels across SSA. We are also upskilling 100 women in leadership who will then transfer the learnings to our Healthy Family initiative. 

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) PartnershipThe program provides a rich product portfolio of cancer medicines targeting cancers with the highest burden: e.g. Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancer, in 22 African countries. 

Partnerships with Academia 

Butterfly Echo for life program
Leveraging the power of partnerships to strengthen healthcare in AfricaIn partnership with the University of Nairobi Enterprises & Services (UNES) Ltd and The Heart Centre we have trained 150 healthcare professionals in Cardiac Diagnosis & Echocardiogram to broaden access to cardiovascular diagnosis in Kenya. We went a step further to donate 30 handheld portable ultrasound devices connected to a mobile phone to enable imaging of body organs and tissues, particularly in rural areas. 

Heart Failure Course sponsorship
Across Africa, Novartis is sponsoring a cohort of 22 clinicians in Heart Failure Management in partnership with the Pan-African Society of Cardiology and Cardiff University. 

Partnerships with Hospitals and Health Care Professionals

Kidney Interlife Program – This is a partnership between Kenyatta National Hospital and the University of Barcelona that involves the training of Transplant teams to increase the capacity for renal transplants. So far, 200 transplants have been done since the program started 10 years ago.

Advanced Trauma Life Support Certification Program – Novartis last year supported the training of 32 orthopaedic surgeons in Nigeria to participate in the Advanced Trauma Life Support certification program run by the American College of Surgeons. This provides for faster and more accurate diagnosis and management of trauma cases.

[1] Mash R, Howe A, Olayemi O, et al. Reflections on family medicine and primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. BMJ Glob Health 2018; 3:e000662.