People in some parts of the world have difficulty in receiving appropriate healthcare due to poverty or because healthcare environments and systems and frameworks 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 healthcare.
Initiatives Targeting the Three Major Infectious Diseases
Known as the three major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria claim about 3 million lives each year. Of the many infectious diseases that exist, 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 labor productivity and leads to rising healthcare costs.*
By leveraging the detection technologies it has accumulated in the area of clinical testing, Sysmex is moving forward with the development of products that assist in diagnosing disease. 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
Initiatives to Eliminating Malaria
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 450,000 die from the disease1. Africa accounts for more than 90% of these deaths, with one child under the age of five losing its life by the disease every two minutes2. To eliminate malaria, Sysmex is working to improve access to healthcare through its fields of business, the testing and diagnostic domains.
1 “WHO World Malaria Report 2017”
Participating in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
GHIT Fund Framework
Sysmex is working on development of testing technologies targeting malaria, dengue fever, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, as well as developing products to contribute to the diagnosis of infectious diseases in emerging markets and developing countries. Since 2015, we have also 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 the initial focus on product development toward activities to provide these products to the people who need them. Sysmex will continue to participate in the fund’s second-phase activities. By promoting activities aimed at developing and providing new reagents for infectious diseases through Japanese technological innovation, we will contribute toward the eradication of infectious disease in developing countries.
Annual Deaths from the Three Major Infectious Diseases in 2016
Providing Healthcare Opportunities through the Donation of Mobile Laboratories
Regions lacking electrical equipment and other infrastructure cannot make immediate use of the products and services provided in advanced countries, pointing to the need to provide products and services suited to the needs of those regions and their people. In some regions, knowledge of healthcare is insufficient, and there exists a lack of understanding about the effects of testing and treatment. Patient education and awareness are important issues in such areas.
In 2016, at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Kenya, we unveiled a mobile lab1. We donated this vehicle to the Beyond Zero Campaign2, which is working to raise awareness of maternal and child health and measures to address infectious diseases. We see introducing a mobile lab as a way to offer a regular traveling clinic, as well as to educate and promote awareness among patients in the aim of reducing the percentage of deaths from infectious diseases by contributing to their early detection and treatment.
Sysmex will continue working to provide appropriate healthcare to as many people as possible and aims to help resolve the world’ s healthcare issues by enhancing awareness of healthcare among patients.
1 Sysmex Corporation exhibited this lab in collaboration with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd.
2 This awareness campaign on maternal and child health and measures to address infectious diseases was launched by the wife of Kenya’s President Kenyatta in January 2014. In addition to spurring government efforts and raising awareness among the people, the campaign aims to distribute mobile laboratories throughout the country and includes such activities as a charity marathon supervised by Ms. Kenyatta.
Cooperation with a Program for Improving the Health of Mothers and Children
In December 2017, Sysmex Corporation participated in the “the Project for Improvement of Maternal and Child Health Department in Lambaréné Region,” in cooperation with the Fiscal year 2017 Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects in Gabonese Republic, Africa. Through this cooperation, we installed our automated hematology analyzer and provided training to medical staff at the hospital. We aim to improve the health of mothers and children by increasing free testing opportunities for pregnant and nursing mothers who live in areas with less access to healthcare.
Helping to Raise Local Healthcare Levels
As one of its initiatives to help the development of healthcare infrastructure and raise healthcare levels in Asia, Sysmex has supported efforts to raise the quality of healthcare testing in six countries: China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines. We are also providing laboratory quality control support and supporting the education of healthcare professionals in the African countries of Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Collaborating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Promote Quality Control Support at Clinical Laboratories to Match International Standards
Operator training at a lab (Namibia)
Sysmex provides laboratory quality control support in the Republic of Namibia, Africa, which faces shortages of healthcare personnel and healthcare infrastructure, as well as the issue of ensuring the quality of healthcare.
Specifically, Sysmex is providing a mentorship* program that makes use of the Sysmex Quality Guidance Manual—a quality control system operational manual for clinical laboratories conforming to international standards—to facilities under the jurisdiction of the Namibia Institute of Pathology, which is overseen by the Namibian government.
To date in Africa, we have already been engaging in the same type of initiatives to raise laboratory quality by working with the health ministries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. We will use this track record as a steppingstone to promote horizontal development into 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 organization’s directions and values clear. This concept encompasses management that motivates people, provides guidance on position and skills that leads 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 Corporation has entered into agreements with government institutions in China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines to conduct scientific support activities aimed at enhancing the quality of clinical testing.
The accumulation of expertise and standardization related to “blood morphology testing,” which is essential to the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up assessments for leukemia and other blood disorders, has become a social issue in Mongolia in recent years. As its support activities so far in the fields of hematology, clinical chemistry and immunochemistry have earned high marks, in July 2017 Sysmex Corporation expanded its support to include the field of blood morphology testing. In addition to providing technological and academic expertise to local clinical laboratory technologists, by supporting the construction and operation of a nationally implemented external quality control framework for a blood morphology testing, we aim to help improve the level of healthcare in Mongolia.
Going forward, Sysmex will continue with initiatives aimed at standardizing and increasing the quality of clinical testing in emerging markets and developing countries.
Supporting the Education of Healthcare Professionals
In addition to preparing healthcare infrastructure in place, having in place 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