Primary health care, essential to sustainable growth in any healthcare landscape, is developing unevenly in the South. To address this situation, Fondation Pierre Fabre takes action in and for medical deserts.

More than thirty years after the Declaration of Alma-Ata, which sought to protect and promote the health of all people by the year 2000, the declaration has clearly failed. Despite a good deal of progress, much of the world’s population has seen its state of health stagnate or even deteriorate. Access to medicines and treatment of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, remains problematic in many parts of the world. More than six million children under the age of five die each year from treatable or preventable diseases, and about 300,000 women succumb to complications in pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum (2012 WHO/World Bank/UNICEF report). The inequalities are stark indeed: Africa alone supports a quarter of the global burden of disease, and represents a tiny portion of the budget dedicated to health worldwide, according to a Médecins du Monde analysis based on the 2006 WHO report on health.

Fondation Pierre Fabre, already taking concerted action on access to drugs, has naturally expanded its scope to encompass prevention and primary care, focusing on mothers and children. It provides targeted financial support to established, proven NGOs. Based on the awareness that access to care is hindered by funding as well as geographic distance, it chooses to specifically focus its efforts on medical deserts of the South.

In addition to these NGOs, the Foundation subsidises development of invaluable medical facilities in particularly impoverished and remote areas. Through continuous monitoring, it ensures that the healthcare provided is both of good quality and stringently tailored to local needs.