REMOVING BARRIERS THROUGH COLLABORATION

The Defeat-NCD Partnership is a public-private partnership anchored in the United Nations system. It acts toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030, through prevention and treatment and the promotion of mental health and well-being.

A group of people is queuing in front of large white pavilions set up in the middle of an open grassland space. As the line moves ahead, many of them look around, trying to think about how long it will take until it is their turn. For many of them, getting here meant they had to travel for hours. Their common destination is a screening station for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), in Kigali, Rwanda. Underneath the pavilions, healthcare workers are extracting blood samples and measuring blood pressure, amongst other things. For many patients, it is the first screening in a long time.

Patients living in low-resource settings face many barriers, such as lack of prevention and health insurance coverage, an insufficient healthcare infrastructure, or supply issues. Saving lives by removing or reducing obstacles requires involving a wide range of supporters, ranging from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to contributor networks and healthcare companies.

In the face of ongoing health crises, Boehringer Ingelheim has continuously intensified its support for sustainable multilateral partnerships. This includes efforts alongside the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the World Health Organization, and other members of the Defeat- NCD Partnership.

Since 2019, the Defeat-NCD Partnership has provided support to the Ministries of Health in Rwanda and Myanmar, resulting in the launch of national action plans for NCDs that address cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer, and respiratory health challenges.

Over 11 million people in Myanmar and 4.8 million people in Rwanda will gain access by 2022 and 2025, respectively. In 2021, the partnership will scale up support in Gambia, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Ecuador, and Caribbean countries, as part of its phased roll-out across 90 countries over the course of the decade.

The success shows that partnerships can lead to comprehensive, long-term solutions for patients in need. The partners provide support and funding, share risks, and optimize processes, thereby establishing an adequate framework of financially sustainable models for improved access to care.

As night falls in Kigali, the last patients are being screened for today. While many are in good health, some were diagnosed with a condition they were unaware of until now. But having been here today opened a path to receive the care they need.