People in some parts of the world have difficulty in receiving appropriate healthcare due to poverty or because healthcare environments and systems for providing healthcare are underdeveloped.
Addressing one of its responsibilities as a company developing its business globally, Sysmex is working to improve access to healthcare so that as many people as possible can receive appropriate medical care.
Initiatives Targeting the Three Major Infectious Diseases
Known as the three major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria claim about three million lives each year. Of the many infectious diseases in existence, these three have long existed on a global scale. In recent years, the spread of therapeutic drugs and vaccines has helped to stem the scale of infection, but economic, social and cultural factors also come into play, and the medical services required for prevention and treatment have not yet reached many poor and socially disadvantaged people. Impaired health can also affect economic growth, as it lowers labor capabilities, reduces productivity, and leads to rising healthcare costs.*
By leveraging the detection technologies we have accumulated in the area of clinical testing, Sysmex is moving forward with the development of products that assist in diagnosing diseases. We are also collaborating with government and academia on initiatives to address the three major infectious diseases.
- Source: “Knowing the Three Major Infectious Diseases”, Friends of the Global Fund, Japan
Helping Improve the Quality of HIV Diagnosis and Treatment in Emerging Markets and Developing Countries
Around the world, 36.9 million people are living with HIV, particularly in Africa.1 Tests to measure the number and percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes play an important role in determining treatment methods and monitoring treatment effects for HIV-positive patients.
Sysmex provides the CyFlow™ Counter System, a CD4+ lymphocyte testing system developed and produced by Sysmex Partec, in emerging markets and developing countries. This system measures, within three minutes, the number and percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes in the blood. In addition to being compact and portable, the system is easily maintained, facilitating testing that is simple, swift, and stable.
In August 2018, Sysmex obtained prequalification2 for this system from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO prequalification is a certification system indicating WHO endorsement of performance, helping to provide peace of mind when using medical instruments and medicines in countries with limited medical resources. The Company is taking this prequalification as an opportunity to make further inroads in introducing the system in countries with limited medical resources. In doing so, we will help improve the quality of HIV diagnosis and treatment in emerging markets and developing countries.
- Source: Number of people (all ages) living with HIV (WHO, 2017)
- WHO prequalification aims to ensure that diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and immunization-related equipment and devices for high-burden diseases meet global standards of quality, safety, and efficacy, in order to optimize the use of health resources and improve health outcomes. The system was established in 2001 in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Today, it is used in emerging markets and developing countries as a reference list for purchasing. Organizations such as the Global Fund give purchasing priority to products with this prequalification.
Initiatives to Eliminate Malaria
Malaria Consortium Initiatives
Malaria is one of three major infectious diseases. Although the number of cases has trended downward over the past several years, each year some 200 million people are infected and around 440,000 die from the disease.1 Africa accounts for more than 90% of these deaths, with one child under the age of five losing its life to the disease every two minutes.2
To eliminate malaria, Sysmex is working to improve access to healthcare through its testing and diagnostic domains.
In April 2019, the Automated Hematology Analyzer XN-31, a new product in the hematology field, obtained CE Certification in compliance with the European IVD Directive. Accordingly, we are launching the analyzer in Europe. To date, microscopes and rapid diagnosis tests have been used for malaria testing, but such testing can take from 15 to 30 minutes, and microscope testing requires skilled technicians. By comparison, the XN-31 can determine in approximately one minute whether red blood cells are infected by malaria parasites. The analyzer is also capable of indicating the quantity of infected red blood cells and the species of malarial plasmodia. In clinical evaluations in South Africa and India, the XN-31 determined the presence of red blood cells infected by malaria parasites with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. As a clinical application, therefore, the instrument can be used as a diagnostic aid for malaria.3 The Company will promote efforts to obtain regulatory approval in various countries. Through broad-based introduction of the product in countries where malaria is endemic, and in advanced countries that are working to prevent and manage imported malaria cases, we will contribute to global initiatives to eliminate malaria.
Since 2016, Sysmex has been participating in the Malaria Consortium, a joint effort by industry, government, and academia, and we are taking a leading role in the field of blood testing. In April 2018, the Malaria Consortium proposed to the Japanese government the "PPP (Public-Private Partnership) from Japan for Malaria Elimination" in Asia and Africa. It aims to eliminate malaria by combining Japanese companies' technologies.
- Source: WHO World Malaria Report 2018
- Source: Malarianomore.org.uk
- Diagnosis is not possible using these results alone. A confirmed diagnosis is the result of a doctor’s overall judgment, including the use of other clinical information.
Participating in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
Since 2015, Sysmex has participated in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) which states its vision for action as “one in which the crushing burden of infectious disease no longer prevents billions of people in the developing world from seeking the level of prosperity and longevity now common in the industrialized world”. The GHIT Fund has entered its second phase of activity (2018-2022), shifting from its initial focus on product development to activities to provide these products to the people who need them. We will continue to participate in the Fundʼs second phase activities. By promoting initiatives aimed at developing and providing new reagents for infectious diseases through Japanese technological innovation, we will contribute to the eradication of infectious diseases in developing countries.
Helping to Raise Local Healthcare Levels
Sysmex works to promote the development of healthcare infrastructure and raise healthcare levels. As part of this initiative, we provide external quality control support in several Asian countries and engage in other measures to enhance the quality of clinical testing. In Africa, we work with organizations focusing on international cooperation, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to help educate healthcare workers and provide products and services.
Helping to Improve the Healthcare Environment in the Republic of Ghana by Promoting the Dissemination of Automated Urinalysis Diagnosis Technology
African countries are seeing an increase in the number of people with non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and renal disease. Prevention, early detection, and early treatment are important to counter NCDs. However, urinalysis testing, which is an effective and simple screening method, has not been widely adopted. Furthermore, urinalysis testing performed manually may lead to unreliable test results.
Against this backdrop, Sysmex’s proposal, “Dissemination of Automated Urinalysis Diagnosis Technology in the Republic of Ghana”, was selected under JICA’s Collaboration Program with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technology for the Social and Economic Development of Developing Countries.
In addition to introducing Sysmex’s fully automated urinalysis testing system at a national teaching hospital in Ghana, we will provide training programs for local health professionals on clinical value, test quality management, and analyzer maintenance. Through this project, Sysmex aims to contribute to the prevention, early detection, and early treatment of NCDs in Ghana.
Supporting the Configuration of Quality Control Structures at Clinical Laboratories to Match International Standards
Sysmex provided support for the creation of a clinical laboratory quality control system in the Republic of Namibia, which faces shortages of healthcare personnel and an insufficient healthcare infrastructure, as well as the issue of ensuring the quality of healthcare. Sysmex introduced its products at three facilities under the jurisdiction of the Namibia Institute of Pathology, and provided training through a mentorship program* that makes use of the Sysmex Quality Guidance Manual—a quality control system for clinical laboratories conforming to international standards (ISO 15189).
To date in Africa, we have already engaged in the same type of initiatives to raise laboratory quality in the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Zimbabwe. We will use this track record as a stepping stone to promote horizontal development in surrounding African countries.
- Rather than simply managing people, mentorship is the concept of seeking the growth and success of all people related to a business after making the organizationʼs directions and values clear. This concept encompasses management that motivates people, provides guidance on positions and skills that lead toward enhanced capabilities, and provides a framework to invigorate an organization.
Conducting Scientific Support Activities to Standardize and Raise the Quality of Clinical Testing
To date, Sysmex has entered into agreements with government institutions, core hospitals, universities, and other institutions in China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines to provide scientific support activities.
In Mongolia, Sysmex continues to provide support activities in the fields of hematology, clinical chemistry, and immunochemistry. In 2017, we expanded this support to include the field of blood morphology testing. In addition to providing technological and academic expertise to local clinical laboratory technologists, Sysmex contributes to the improvement of the level of healthcare in Mongolia by supporting the construction and operation of a nationally implemented external quality control framework for blood morphology testing.
Our Record of External Quality Control Services in Asia
||Conducted external quality control in the hematology, clinical chemistry, immunochemistry and blood morphology testing fields
|Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand
||Conducted external quality control in the hematology field
Other Support for the Education of Healthcare Professionals
In addition to preparing healthcare infrastructure in place, having appropriately trained healthcare professionals is an essential part of improving access to healthcare. Sysmex provides educational support to raise the quality of clinical laboratories and to standardize and raise the quality of clinical testing. We also conduct seminars and study sessions targeting healthcare professionals, imparting leading-edge scientific information.
- Resolution of Medical Issues through Products and Services
- Resolution of Medical Issues through Business Activities
- Improvement in Accessibility to Medical Services by Means such as Familiarizing Products