NAIOBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA has become the first country to benefit from a portfolio of some affordable medicines to treat major illnesses.
These include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses and breast cancer.
The Novartis portfolio is being offered to the Kenyan government, non-governmental organizations and other public-sector healthcare providers for USD 1 per treatment, per month.
Joerg Reinhardt, Chairman of the Board of Novartis, said Novartis and Kenya had a relationship of more than 40 years, hence the company’s delight Kenyan patients will be the first to benefit from Novartis Access.
“The successful implementation of the program in Kenya will be essential to guide the expansion of Novartis Access to other countries in the future,” said Reinhardt.
In conjunction with the launch of the access portfolio and to support effective treatment of chronic diseases in Kenya, Novartis will partner with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the Kenyan Red Cross, the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Christian Health Association of Kenya, Management Sciences for Health and other key stakeholders.
These collaborations are intended to support the healthcare system through measures such as reinforcing drug distribution channels and training healthcare workers to diagnose and treat chronic illnesses. Novartis is also collaborating with Boston University in the US to measure the impact on health in Kenya and steer ongoing development of Novartis Access.
Margaret Kenyatta, First Ladyof Kenya, welcomed proactive steps taken by government and Novartis in the fight against cancer and other chronic diseases.
“Novartis Access complements the advocacy campaign I have been undertaking together with other African First Ladies to expand access to prevention and treatment for people with chronic diseases,” she said.
Some 28 million people die from chronic diseases in low- and middle-income countries each year, representing 75 percent of such deaths globally.
In Kenya, non-communicable diseases account for 27 percent of deaths, or almost 100 000 people per year.
– CAJ News