Novartis’ an initiative working in Africa to help prevent Malaria has today announced that its SMS for Life program reduced wait times and stock-outs for antimalarial medicines from three months to a few days and from 79% to less than 26% in three districts in Tanzania.
Its other program, the Novartis Malaria Initiative has provided more than 600 million antimalarial treatments, without profit, to more than 60 malaria-endemic countries, the organization reported.
Speaking during the celebration of the Novartis Africa Day, Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer of Novartis said, “Novartis is taking an outcomes approach, looking beyond therapeutic solutions to a focus on new technologies, new commercial models, education and training. As the continent increasingly grapples with the dual healthcare burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, we believe we can make a significant difference in improving lives as the demand for healthcare rises.”
According to Norvatis, Africa faces immense challenges in its efforts to provide adequate healthcare to its one-seventh of the world’s population. The continent shoulders one-quarter of the global disease burden, but it has only two percent of the world’s doctors and less than one percent of global health expenditure.
Life expectancy is 15 years less than the global average and is also challenged by a dual disease burden – both communicable diseases that have historically plagued the continent, such as malaria, and non-communicable diseases that are on the rise due to lifestyle changes, such as diabetes. Low levels of disease awareness, declining infrastructure and poor distribution channels further compound Africa’s problems.
Norvatis therefore hopes the use of technology can help reduce the disease burden.
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