African Health Ministers Approve Roadmap For Medicines Access, Framework To End Cholera 03/09/2018 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Health ministers from the World Health Organization Africa region last week endorsed a roadmap for access for the years 2019-2023 concerning areas such as fair pricing, intellectual property management, and supply chain management. The previous day, they pledged to implement key strategies to end cholera outbreaks in the African region by 2030. The decisions were made on 29 August, during the Sixty-eighth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, in Dakar, Senegal, from 27-31 August. According to a press release, many countries are still struggling to provide full access to health products for their populations. They are also facing the continuing rise in non-communicable diseases, and difficulties linked to under-resourced health systems, as well as the high price of new medical products. The Roadmap [pdf] for access 2019-2023 includes 10 activity areas, including: Research and development for medicines and vaccines that meets public health needs; Fair pricing and financing policies: Application and management of intellectual property to contribute to innovation and promote public health; Procurement and supply chain management; Preparedness for emergencies; and Regulatory systems that ensure quality, safety and efficacy of medicines and vaccines. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in the release: “The high cost of medicines means that people cannot afford the medicines they need to stay alive and healthy. We will only achieve universal health coverage if we can ensure affordable access to quality medical products for our populations.” African delegates agreed to “strengthen collaboration on health products procurement to reduce prices, on collaborative approaches to assessing medical products so as to cut costs, and on promoting medical research and development that responds to the public health needs of low- and middle-income countries,” according to the release. The roadmap also calls for a more responsible use of medicines, in particular antibiotics. Action Against Cholera On 28 August, 47 African countries adopted a Regional Framework [pdf] for the implementation of the global strategy for cholera prevention and control, 2018–2030, according to a press release. The framework includes key strategies for ending cholera outbreaks in the African region by 2030, it said. Moeti in the release said, “Every death from cholera is preventable. We have the know-how and today countries have shown that they have the will to do whatever it takes to end cholera outbreaks by 2030.” Africa is vulnerable to cholera, which has led to over 3,000 deaths in 17 countries in Africa, mainly because 92 million people in the region still drink water from unsafe sources, according to the release. Among the pledges of the Regional Framework are evidence-based actions, mapping cholera hotspots, improving access to treatment, as well as increasing investments in clean water and sanitation. Image Credits: WHO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."African Health Ministers Approve Roadmap For Medicines Access, Framework To End Cholera" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.