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Initiatives to Improve Access to Medical Services and Develop Human Resources Around the World

- Underpinning Healthcare Infrastructure and Inspiring Trust and Confidence -

Throughout the world, there are regions where receiving appropriate healthcare is difficult owing to the inadequate structuring of medical care, such as underdeveloped healthcare facilities and systems. As a global company contributing to the wellbeing of the global community, Sysmex is forging ahead with initiatives designed to improve access to medical services to ensure that as many persons as possible can receive appropriate healthcare.

Aiming to Raise the Level of Healthcare in Developing Countries and Emerging Markets

When you feel unwell, you go to see a doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. When it comes to medical services, however, what is taken for granted in one country may not exist in others. Building on the testing and diagnostic businesses that we have fostered, Sysmex supports medical professionals and scientific activities around the world, working to improve access to medical services, an urgent global issue at this time.
 
In Africa, we maintain subsidiaries in South Africa, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Egypt, from which we provide sales, service, and support to about 50 countries. We make constant efforts to raise the level of healthcare by providing sales distributors and medical professionals with technical training while working closely with a broad range of government organizations and research institutions.
 
In Asia, we have signed an agreement with government organizations, flagship hospitals, and universities in China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines, to support scientific activities for the standardization and quality improvement of clinical testing.

We will walk you through Sysmex’s initiatives in different countries as we detail three inspiring cases.

Case 1: Support Program for Improvement of Quality Management System at Clinical Laboratory in Namibia - Developing People to Improve Management Skills for Clinical Testing
 
Namibia is one of the higher income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa1 due to a robust economic foundation backed by abundant mineral resources and a democratic government. Something that the country is struggling with, however, is how they should go about ensuring the quality of healthcare. They are faced with a lack of medical professionals and infrastructure, as evidenced by the fact they have only 5.9 physicians per 10,000 people2. Another problem is the difficulty in providing patients with appropriate test results for in vitro diagnostics (IVD), which use blood and urine samples for testing and are essential for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
1 The part of the African continent located south of the Sahara Desert.
2 Reference: WHO (2017) “Global Health Observatory Data Repository”
 cf. Number of physicians per 10,000 people: 24.7 in Japan, 26 in the U.S. (2018)
 
Such being the case, as part of the activity to improve the quality of public medical institutions, the Namibian Government is implementing quality improvement measures based on certification under ISO15189, an international standard that specifies the quality management system requirements particular to clinical laboratories. Sysmex implemented a project under scheme of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) “JICA’s Collaboration with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technology” and provided a mentorship3 program using the Sysmex Quality Guidance Manual, a clinical laboratory quality control manual that complies with international standards, for three facilities under the management of the Namibia Institute of Pathology, where the Namibian government has entrusted with operational management in the clinical testing field. Elsewhere in Africa, Sysmex has already engaged in the same type of initiatives to support improving quality management system at clinical laboratories in Zambia and Zimbabwe . Going forward, we hope to leverage Sysmex’s track record in these countries to roll out the mentorship program to neighboring countries.
3 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.

Comments from trainees:
Meaningful Training That Will Help to Improve Quality Management at Clinical Laboratories
In the mentorship program, training on laboratory quality enhancement was provided to us as members of staff at the Namibia Institute of Pathology. It was very meaningful to learn about quality control systems for clinical laboratories that matche international standards and we reconfirmed the objectives and significance of testing. I think this program will help raise the level of quality in clinical testing.

Case 2: Creating Jobs and Blood Testing Opportunities in Burkina Faso - Assisting in the Development of Healthcare Infrastructure to Contribute to Early Detection and Treatment
 
Located in West Africa, Burkina Faso is a landlocked country, with limited resources. Also, Burkina Faso has a fragile industrial base and ranks 182 out of 189 countries4 on the UNDP Human Development Index in 2019.
4 UNDP Human Development Report 2019, P.302
 
The development of healthcare infrastructure is severely lacking, leaving many impoverished citizens without access to even basic healthcare services. To break this impasse, Sysmex has teamed up with Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health to pursue a project designed to provide people in rural areas and remote communities with jobs and blood testing opportunities.
 
So far, some 100 hematology instruments have been installed at various facilities, and more than 650 medical technologists, engineers, and pediatricians have taken training customized for their professions. Now a local facility can perform up to 1.2 million blood tests per year, enabling them to detect and treat diseases at an early stage. Furthermore, the introduction of new instruments has created jobs for medical professionals.
 
Receiving the sincere gratitude of local governments and medical professionals, this pioneering project was presented as a model case of a public-private partnership at the G20 Compact with Africa held in 2019 in Berlin. Sysmex remains committed to improving access to medical services in various parts of the African continent in tandem with local health ministries, the WHO, and many other government organizations and international institutions.
 

  
Comments from an employee of Sysmex associate in Burkina Faso:
Sysmex is Doing a Marvelous Job Supporting People's Lives
In Burkina Faso, the general public is subjected to constant danger, such as acts of terrorism and battles between armed groups and military forces. To continue to safely and stably provide our services and support, whenever we receive a request for repair or orders for reagents or consumables from a medical institution, we closely communicate with the police, military, or other security forces to check the situation in surrounding areas. We’d like to think that Sysmex is playing a significant role in this extremely severe environment.
 
 
Professor Yves Traore
Managing Director
Sysmex Partec Burkina Faso
Case 3: Supporting Scientific Activities in Mongolia and China- Providing Medical Professionals with Technical and Scientific Know-How
 
Sysmex is engaged in activities to provide scientific information on clinical testing in Asian countries as well.
 
In Mongolia, the development of a healthcare infrastructure is underway due in part to the country’s recent economic growth. An emerging challenge is the need to improve the quality of testing for infectious diseases. Accordingly, in 2016 Sysmex began providing local medical technologists with technical and scientific know-how on blood morphology, which plays a key role in screening for infectious diseases. In addition, we are supporting the establishment and operation of an external quality assessment (EQA)5 scheme for blood morphology evaluation, which is administered throughout the country, thus helping them to raise the level of healthcare in Mongolia. In Myanmar and Cambodia, on the other hand, we offer similar support for external quality assessment for hematology to support their efforts to improve the quality of clinical testing.
5 One type of quality control process—that evaluates the quality of routine testing in clinical laboratories by statistically comparing the results of unknown samples (artificially produced blood, etc.) delivered among many participating laboratories. The results are fed back to relevant laboratories for quality improvement of testing.



Another area in which Sysmex offers support is creating a system for the stable provision of accurate data, which is vital for clinical testing. In China, the Sysmex Cell Counter is employed as the national standard6 for hematology. We also provide technology for hematology and reference measurement procedures and support the formulation of national guidelines for clinical testing. Leasing of the latest cell counter began. With these measures, Sysmex is contributing to the quality enhancement and standardization of hematology in China.
6 A product with which to assign the values for the national standard of hematology

Contributing to the Fulfillment of SDGs Through Solutions to Healthcare Challenges

All these activities are intended to raise the level of healthcare in various countries by improving access to medical services (via improvement of the quality of clinical testing and the skills of medical professionals) and contribute to solutions to healthcare challenges. They are also closely linked to efforts to fulfill Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, "Good health and well-being”, 9, "Industry, innovation and infrastructure," and 17, "Partnerships for the goals."
 
Addressing social issues through business activities is one of the important missions of Sysmex as it enhances the quality of life (QOL) of both medical professionals and patients. Sysmex continues to inspire trust and confidence globally by improving access to medical services in developing countries and emerging markets.
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    but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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