Director, Access Accelerated
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) hurt people, disrupt communities, drain health systems and undermine sustainable development. Globally, they are the number one cause of death and disability, accounting for more than two thirds of total mortality.1
The facts are grim: it is estimated that the top five NCDs combined cost a staggering USD 47 trillion between 2011 and 2030.2 NCDs force an estimated 100 million people into extreme poverty every year.3 They hit the poorest economies the hardest, with around 85% of premature deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.4 In short, NCDs deepen and widen health, economic and social inequities, leaving countries, communities and people far behind.
Powerful partnerships: seeding and scaling solutions
What one initiative, Access Accelerated, is helping to prove is that through working across sectors to co-create scalable, sustainable and locally relevant solutions, it is possible to reverse the consequences of neglecting NCDs for so long.
Access Accelerated is a collective of over 20 biopharmaceutical companies, partnering with the World Bank, City Cancer Challenge, PATH, NCD Alliance and the World Heart Federation to advance access to NCD services in 44 resource-limited countries in five continents. It represents an unprecedented collaboration, pooling an investment of USD 80 million across six years.
NCDs deepen and widen health, economic and social inequities, leaving countries, communities and people far behind.
In five short years since its launch, cross-sector partnerships supported by the initiative have led to at least USD 2 billion in new investment in NCDs. National governments are paying closer attention. In 2021 alone, 136 policy changes were achieved as a result of efforts to engage national stakeholders and people living with NCDs, which help to rapidly improve the visibility and priority-setting of NCDs.
Improving outcomes through collaborative projects
Partnerships also have the potential to expand reach. Between 2017 and 2021, 182 million people have benefited from improved access to NCD services through the Access Accelerated projects. Last year, undeterred by the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative doubled down on its efforts, creating 42 new NCD projects and 105 new local engagements.
Partnerships embracing local voices and co-creation pave the way for these advances and are helping to make life-saving leaps that strengthen NCD service delivery, policy and access to care.
 71% – Noncommunicable diseases: Mortality (who.int)
 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases (deaths from NCDs between the ages of 30 and 69 years)