Accordia Global Health Foundation Convenes Inaugural Infectious Diseases Summit

- Global leaders across for- and non-profit sectors gather to identify

'on-the-ground' solutions; Julie Gerberding, Anthony Fauci, Richard T.

Clark are Keynotes -

Mar 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Accordia Global Health Foundation

    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
 and partnerships.
     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
 infectious disease."
     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
 non-profit community."
     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:

SOURCE Accordia Global Health Foundation