Innovative approaches in achieving sustainable access to healthcare for pediatric non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in resource limited environments
Introduction and aims
Care of pediatric patients in resource poor settings is overwhelmed by health and healthcare disparities. The inequitable morbidity and mortality experienced by children and adolescents living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in resource-limited settings was acknowledged at the 66th World Health Assembly in 2013.
As we approach the second High Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) (2023); the fourth HLM on NCDs (2025); and close of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030, urgent action is needed to redress child health inequities. The SDGs commit Member States to action that will end preventable infant and child mortality (SDGs 3.2.1 and 3.2.2); and reduce the preventable mortality associated with NCDs by 30% (SDG 3.4).
In this context, affordable and equitable access to healthcare and essential medicines, newborn screening and other diagnostics are critical and pressing priorities for every child.
This session will review successful collaborative, rights-based, community development efforts by our group that have been shown to improve sustainable access to medicines and quality of life for children living with chronic NCDs in resource-limited environments.
Established in 2021, @MATES4Kids (Maximising Access To Essential Supplies) is an international movement of like-minded organisations committed to reducing the preventable mortality associated with childhood NCDs. With a focus on one particular chronic health condition (CAH – Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia), the @MATES4Kids movement seeks to contribute in a practical way to efforts to achieve SDGs 3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 3.4 and to serve as a proof of concept for access to medicines for other NCDs.
Panelists will report on the activities of the @MATES4Kids Community of Practice to date. As an international movement (hosted on the World Health Organization’s Knowledge Action Portal), @MATES4Kids is committed to collaborative action, leveraging existing technology and scaling innovation to #LeaveNoChildBehind.
The @MATES4Kids movement is informed by several key frameworks, including the:
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Ottawa Charter
- Strategic Framework for Action and Five Pillars of CLAN (Caring & Living As Neighbours)
- Knowledge to Action Framework
@MATES4Kids proposes to reduce the preventable mortality associated with CAH and promote efforts to achieve the SDGs through three key objectives:
- Improve access to essential medicines (as per the WHO’s Essential Medicines List for Children)
- Scale access to Newborn Screening and other diagnostics (as per the WHO’s Essential Diagnostics List) and
- Strengthen childhood NCD Communities
A panel of stakeholders will share key activities and achievements to date, as well as acknowledge barriers to the broader social, cultural and economic determinants of health for children living with NCDs in LMICs. Speakers will share updates on efforts across each of the WHO’s six regions to:
- Scale up Newborn Screening and improve access to other essential diagnostic procedures
- Improve access to essential medicines
- Monitor and evaluate progress using agreed indicators
- Expand professional Healthcare training and
- Empower patients and families
The attendees will hear about practical approaches that helped our group achieve success in key areas and have the opportunity to provide feedback and contribute through their personal experience:
- A sentence on Pakistan and Zimbabwe
- A sentence on inclusion of drugs in the WHO
- A sentence on inclusion of laboratory tests in the EDL and the opportunities and obstacles to Newbron screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
- A sentence on identification of most important issues
Discussion of key learnings and successful approaches to date will inform the development of practical recommendations to help United Nations Member States scale action that will reduce the preventable and inequitable mortality currently experienced by infants and children living with chronic health conditions in resource poor settings, and thus contribute to SDG 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by 2030. Participants will be invited to join the @MATES4Kids Community of Practice on the WHO’s Knowledge to Action Portal (https://www.knowledge-action-portal.com/en/communities/overview), access existing tools and resources, and engage in ongoing collaborative efforts to reduce preventable child mortality around the world.
- Introduction: Kate Armstrong, Jean-Pierre Chanoine and Rodolfo Rey
- Access to hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone in Latin America: Paola Durán, Raúl Calzada
- Successes and challenges in Southeast and Middle-East Asian countries: Aman Pulungan, Jamal Raza
- Successes and challenges in Africa: Salwa Albuldagi
- WHO Essential Medicines List and Essential Diagnostics List: Jean-Pierre Chanoine
- Training specialists for and in Sub-Saharan countries: Thomas Ngwiri