WASHINGTON March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Accordia Global Health
Foundation, formerly the Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF), today will
convene an inaugural summit of global leaders in academia, government, NGOs
and industry who have made major contributions to fighting infectious
diseases. The summit is designed to identify innovative strategies to
address infectious disease-related world health concerns.
In conjunction with summit activities, the organization will also
officially announce its name change from AAF to Accordia Global Health
Foundation, a decision made to better reflect the foundation's expanding
mandate to build healthcare capacity in Africa through strong collaboration
Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Richard T. Clark, chairman,
president and CEO, Merck & Company, Inc., will be featured speakers at the
two-day summit in Washington, D.C., where participants will work to develop
action plans that strengthen the abilities and skills of individuals and
institutions in developing world regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, that
have high rates of infectious disease.
"Despite investment of over $10 billion annually, the prevalence of
HIV/AIDS is still growing, and its impact on health in Africa impacts us
all," said Dr. Hank McKinnell, Chairman of the Board, Accordia Global
Health Foundation. "Global efforts to increase access to life-saving
medications have made an impact, but we must push harder to find new and
innovative approaches to building long-term capacity in Africa to fight
Given Accordia's collaborative, front-line approach to preparing and
educating healthcare professionals in academic medical centers throughout
sub-Saharan Africa, the organization is uniquely positioned to gather a
cross-sector of global leaders to address infectious disease-related
issues, including skills enablement, supply chain management, research and
product development and prevention modalities.
Leaders from industry have been a particularly strong driving force in
initiating the event and advancing opportunities to foster collaboration
among key constituencies.
"How can we ensure a healthier Africa?" asks Richard T. Clark. "Real
change will require vision, innovative thinking and new partnerships. The
Accordia Infectious Diseases Summit provides an opportunity for the
pharmaceutical industry to discuss the critical healthcare issues facing
the continent with key global leaders from academe, government and the
During the summit, participants will break into the following four
working groups to identify workable solutions to various issues stemming
from this health crisis:
Group 1: Skills Enablement and Academic Medical Centers
As health systems continue to evolve in response to new and existing
challenges, capacity needs also continue to grow and change. The challenge
is to scale-up management and leadership training to equip healthcare
professionals with the necessary skills, experience and knowledge.
Academic medical centers, such as those in Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland,
Uganda and Botswana may offer examples in best practices on how to
accomplish these challenging goals.
Group 2: Global Health Supply Chain Management
Barriers in the planning, procurement, distribution and delivery of
drugs and essential health products are acknowledged as significant
contributors to performance outcomes. There is a need to look at innovative
and partnership-driven supply chain models to overcome these barriers and
ensure that populations have ready access to products that prevent and
treat infectious diseases.
Group 3: Research and Product Development
Limited resources for research and development of infectious disease
solutions need to be focused on prioritized problems closer to their
source, guided by the enlightened agendas of those regions most at risk.
This can be accomplished by changing traditional paradigms of product
development and introducing new partners, collaborations and technologies.
Group 4: Prevention Modalities
There remains an absence of effective interventions focused on
preventing the transmission of infectious diseases, in particular with
respect to HIV and child exploitation, which is disturbingly prevalent in
many areas of the world. There is a need to explore this and other new
prevention modalities, including male circumcision, and to consider
behavioral, legal and other innovative approaches to addressing these
"Accordia summit participants are inspiring examples of leaders across
all sectors who have stepped forward to confront the devastating effects of
infectious disease in Africa," said Dr. Warner Greene, Director and Senior
Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, and
President, Accordia Global Health Foundation. "We hope this summit will
identify innovative and cooperative approaches for building and sustaining
healthcare capacity in this region of the world."
About Accordia Global Health Foundation
Accordia Global Health Foundation, formerly the Academic Alliance
Foundation, is a U.S. not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to
overcome the burden of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa by
building healthcare capacity and strengthening academic medical
institutions. Accordia was born out of unique partnership between senior
North American academic physician-researchers in the field of infectious
disease, their counterparts on the Faculty of Medicine at Uganda's famed
Makerere University, and others motivated to find innovative solutions to
combat infectious disease in sub-Saharan Africa and strengthen Africa for
future generations. For more information visit the Accordia Global Health
Foundation website: http://www.accordiafoundation.org.
SOURCE Accordia Global Health Foundation