"Integration Science" for universal health coverage and the noncommunicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) of the poorest billion

Meeting Organizer

Prince Mahidol Award Conference

Partners In Health, Harvard Medical School

Contact Person : Maia Olsen,

29 January 2019
09:00 - 12:30 hrs.
Venue : Lotus Suite 3

Open to All Participants


Global public health strategies since World War II have traditionally focused on addressing the small number of diseases or risk factors that were thought to account for the vast majority of premature death among those living in extreme poverty: the poorest billion. More recent research is showing that the noncommunicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) account for more than a third of the all-age burden in these populations. However, because of young age and different risk exposure pattern of the poorest billion as compared with other populations, there is not a limited number of “best buy” clinical interventions that could be scaled to achieve great health impact with equity. Instead, there is a long tail of attractive medical and surgical interventions addressing severe and heterogenous conditions such as, for example, rheumatic and congenital heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, sickle-cell disease, congenital hydrocephalus, epilepsy, psychotic disorders, and orthopaedic trauma. The supply-side constraints to delivering these interventions in low- and lower-middle income (LLMIC) countries are significant. The challenge for advocacy and delivery on the path to universal health coverage (UHC) in the poorest populations is to develop an “integration science” to relieve these supply-side constraints in an efficient fashion. This side meeting will bring leaders from LLMICs engaged in newly-established National NCDI Poverty Commissions ( together with management researchers and global health policy experts to discuss how emerging theories of health system integration could be applied to the problem of the NCDIs of the poorest billion (NCDI Poverty). Potential Speakers: - Gene Bukhman (confirmed) – Harvard Medical School, Partners In Health - Tim Evans (confirmed) – World Bank - National NCDI Poverty Commissioners from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa - Faculty from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health


• Better understand and bring forward the voices and needs of the very poorest in rural South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, who have been excluded or underserved in existing policy paradigms within the NCD response to date. • Conduct an interactive discussion on “integration science” as a pathway for country-led action towards a progressive realization of universal health coverage, comprehensive of the full spectrum of NCDIs in these settings. • Discuss how to best orient monitoring frameworks to capture comprehensive and integrated targets for NCDIs within a broader UHC and poverty reduction agenda. Expected Outcome: In this side meeting, we expect to provide participants with a broader understanding of the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations with respect to NCDIs. We also hope to challenge existing NCD policy paradigms and encourage more forward-looking, exploratory conversation about ways to pursue an integrated agenda for NCDIs within a UHC framework that more comprehensively addresses the full set of severe NCDI conditions that disproportionately impact the poorest. Output: Preparation of a publication for peer review.