BIO Ventures for Global Health: African Access Initiative
Africa is facing a cancer crisis that is attributable largely to healthcare systems inadequacies. In response, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) launched the African Access Initiative (AAI). Driven by Africa, for Africa, AAI engages pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, African governments and hospitals, and leading cancer centers to address the lack of access to quality clinical care that underlies the crisis. Aligning with the self-defined healthcare needs of participating African countries and hospitals, AAI announces it is: (1) expanding access to cancer medicines and technologies by establishing affordable business and pricing agreements between companies and African governments, (2) strengthening healthcare infrastructure by coordinating the placement of essential diagnostic equipment, (3) building clinical oncology capacity through fellowships and workshops, and (4) fast-tracking patient access to innovative cancer therapies through clinical trials. BVGH has recently completed needs assessments of 24 hospitals in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda. With the results of the assessments in place, BVGH is engaging partners to address the identified needs through the following custom projects: • Three-month clinical trial and diagnostic laboratory training programs in Kenya and Rwanda • Pilot drug access program led by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health • Diagnostic pathology workshop in Nigeria that will provide detailed training on breast cancer subtype identification. Partners include: African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)/Access Accelerated, Ministries of Health of Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda, Pfizer, Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.