Sep 07, 2015
  • Telemedicine pilot in rural Ghana demonstrated positive impact and improved primary health services as reported by nurses, midwives and patients
  • Retrospective contact tracing of former leprosy patients in Cambodia was effective in reducing disability of new patients through earlier diagnosis
  • Electronic supportive supervision of healthcare professionals in Tanzania helped to identify major quality gaps and showed quick improvements in skills
  • First mobile phone-facilitated leprosy detection system helps identify patients in remote areas of the Philippines

Basel, September 7, 2015 - The Novartis Foundation and its partners will highlight progress towards transforming the health of the poorest populations at the 9th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) held in Basel from September 6 - 10. Updates on nine Novartis Foundation-sponsored healthcare delivery models and disease elimination programs in low- and middle-income countries will be showcased in scientific sessions and sponsored-symposia.

"The ECTMIH is a great opportunity to join with our partners and the global health community to review the progress we are making in the innovation of healthcare delivery and disease elimination. It's an exciting time for us as we are seeing projects such as Telemedicine in Ghana move towards scale and integration into the local health system as well as new projects, such as our leprosy contact tracing strategy, begin to gain momentum," said Dr. Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation.

Novartis Foundation-sponsored projects presented at ECTMIH scientific sessions:

  • Identifying and addressing structural gaps in primary health care in Tanzania (Abstract 1390, September 7, 15:30 CET)
  • Ghana telemedicine - using mHealth to bridge the gaps in health service and availability and accessibility (Abstract 218, September 8, 15:30 CET)
  • Cambodia retrospective contact tracing project: innovation in contact tracing to improve early diagnosis of leprosy (Abstract 773, September 9, 10:30 CET)
  • Leprosy alert response network and surveillance system (LEARNS): Iloilo implementation (Abstract 570, September 9, 10:30 CET)
  • Evaluation of a community based program for hypertension control in Ghana (Abstract 610, September 9, 12:15 CET)
  • Public-private partnerships to strengthen human resources for health through training and eLearning: a case study from Tanzania (Abstract 1018, September 9, 12:15)

Novartis-sponsored symposia at ECTMIH

  • On the road to malaria elimination: where we have come from and what challenges lie ahead? (September 7, 12:00) Co-sponsored by the Novartis Malaria Initiative, the Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease and the Novartis Foundation
  • Digital Health on the Ground (September 8, 17:00) Sponsored by the Novartis Foundation

Added Ann Aerts, "Our objective at ECTMIH is to share our learnings, the successes and challenges, with the global health community and in turn, learn as much as we can from them for our own work. We need to be open and collaborative as we are all aiming towards the same goal to transform the health of the poorest populations."

About the Novartis Foundation
The Novartis Foundation is a philanthropic organization pioneering innovative healthcare models that can have a transformational impact on the health of the poorest populations. We work hand-in-hand with our local and global partners to catalyze scalable and sustainable healthcare models to improve access and health outcomes, and to accelerate efforts to eliminate leprosy and malaria by focusing on interventions that aim to interrupt transmission. Everything we do is grounded in evidence and innovation, and our work is a continuous cycle of evaluation, adaptation and application. In 2014, the operational budget for the foundation was CHF 12 million and our programs reached 3.6 million people.

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Novartis Tropical Disease
Novartis is committed to combatting tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and leprosy, which continue to have a devastating effect on millions of people living in under privileged areas of the world. We do this with innovative research at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore, where our scientists use the latest techniques to discover next generation treatments for some of these conditions. At the same time, we are working to control and eliminate these diseases by improving access to treatments through our Malaria Initiative and pioneering innovative healthcare models through the Novartis Foundation. Since 2001, the Malaria Initiative has delivered more than 700 million antimalarial treatments to patients without profit, contributing to a significant reduction of the death toll from malaria. The Novartis Foundation works to accelerate efforts to eliminate leprosy and malaria by focusing on interventions that aim to interrupt transmission. Novartis has also worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide free multidrug therapy (MDT) to leprosy patients globally since 2000. Learn more about our efforts at

This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as "pilot," "will," "opportunity," "exciting," "move towards," "strategy," "begin," "objective," "aiming," "goal," "can," "focusing on," "aim," "continuous," "committed," "continue," "working to," "pioneering," "works to," "efforts," or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 120,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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