Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the stark health disparities that exist between countries around the world. It has also exposed and exacerbated the inequities within countries, particularly those facing women and children in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). A recent report from the UN revealed that in Africa the pandemic worsened inequalities between women and men, with services like maternal care and sexual and reproductive healthcare being negatively affected.
At Roche, we are committed to addressing the unmet needs of women across Africa. We’re working to improve integrated, women-centered care delivery and co-creating solutions to reach our broader goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC).
Fundamental to our approach is our commitment to collaboration and working with partners to support policies across the continent that prioritize women’s health, and particularly women’s cancers; educate women on the risk factors and symptoms associated with cervical and breast cancer; improve access to screening sites and early diagnosis; build local capacity in hospitals and clinics; and bring innovative treatments and diagnostics to Africa.
In Africa that translated to nearly 190,000 new breast cancer cases and more than 85,000 deaths in 2020 alone. Similarly, 19 of the 20 top countries with the highest cervical cancer rates in 2018 were in sub-Saharan Africa.
Consider that with 4 billion women worldwide, 90 percent are a family’s healthcare decision maker . They are 70 percent of the health workforce and 75 percent more likely to use digital tools for health than men . And by increasing gender equality in the labor market, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative found that African countries can increase their GDP anywhere between 1 and 50 percent.
Throughout a 125-year history, Roche has grown into one of the world’s largest biotech companies, as well as a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and a global supplier of transformative innovative solutions across major disease areas.
Learn more at: https://www.roche.com/
AHB curated the Africa Health Business Symposium (AHBS) under the theme: The role of the private sector in advancing women’s health in Africa with the objective to prioritise, explore and strengthen the role of the private sector in advancing women’s health on the continent.
Learn more at: www.africahealthbusiness.com