Strengthening healthcare systems
Healthcare needs are changing rapidly, and systems are struggling to keep up. Novartis helps to identify best practices and innovative approaches for improving patient outcomes
We believe we can be most effective by working with international healthcare systems in three areas:
- Contributing to the global knowledge base on international best practices and innovative approaches
- Working in partnership to improve patient outcomes and system productivity on priority issues
- Bringing together healthcare system leaders and experts to share experiences
Building local healthcare capacity
Limited availability of trained health professionals represents a significant barrier to healthcare access. Local health workers are helping to solve this problem, but they need support. Through local capacity-building initiatives, Novartis supports the education and training of healthcare personnel in the developing world.
Our commitments in action
Helping manage malaria drug supplies using mobile phone technology
SMS for Life is a public-private collaboration initiated by Novartis that uses mobile phones to ensure that public health facilities do not run out of antimalarial medicines by enabling them to track consumption and improve forecasting and order accuracy. SMS for Life was piloted in Tanzania and is expanding across Africa.
Training to improve care for malaria patients
Working closely with managers from African national malaria control programs, the Novartis Malaria Initiative has developed malaria case management training for nurses, educational materials for healthcare workers to improve diagnosis and other training programs.
Establishing a self-sustained training center for healthcare workers
The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD) supports the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) to train healthcare personnel. The center is one of the best in East Africa, both in terms of quality of training and financial sustainability.
Training in maternal and child health through e-learning
To support and scale up training of health personnel working with children, NFSD and the World Health Organization (WHO), developed an e-learning tool for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, a WHO/UNICEF strategy focused on reducing infant and childhood mortality.
Training eye surgeons in the developing world
Alcon, our eye care division, supports the advancement of surgical techniques for cataract surgery in many developing countries, including educational programs to train surgeons on phacemulsification techniques for cataract surgery, and related small incision procedures that minimize the recovery time for patients, increase visual outcomes faster, and simplify the patient experience.
Building manufacturing capabilities in emerging markets
In Brazil, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics is transferring manufacture of Menjugate (vaccine for meningococcal disease serogroup C) to Funed, a government-funded company, ultimately enabling Menjugate to be included in the Brazilian National Immunization Program for infants. The division also plans to build a biologics factory to produce components of Bexsero, which protects against meningococcal disease serogroup B. Similarly, in Argentina, we have started constructing a facility to manufacture seasonal flu vaccines for use locally and elsewhere in Latin America.
Novartis generics division Sandoz is sharing technical expertise and materials with Cinpharm, a Cameroon owned and operated generic manufacturing company, to increase local production of high-quality generic medicines. Sandoz affiliate 1A Pharma initiated a collaboration with the Government of Zambia to create a closed supply chain of high-quality medicines and to train retailers in the Kasama region, where no qualified pharmacists currently operate.
Encouraging scientific research in Africa
The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) run several science and clinical capability-building programs, including:
- In-depth workshops by Novartis researchers across Africa
- Student fellowships in South Africa
- Three-month research fellowships for African students and faculty at Novartis research sites in the United States and Switzerland
Building clinical research in Malaysia
Novartis and the Ministry of Health in Malaysia have initiated an innovative collaboration to build clinical research capabilities and bring clinical trials to the country, aligned with the government’s Economic Transformation Program and contributing to the Ministry of Health’s vision of 1000 clinical trials by 2020.