Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) Reception at TICAD VII, Yokohama, Japan, 2019.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VII brings African heads of state and top global health and international development leaders to Japan, representing a key opportunity for R&D for neglected diseases, this year it has been organised at Yokohama, Japan.

As such, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) had organised a side event reception on August 27, 2019, at Yokohama during TICAD VII. GHIT Fund which is the first of its kind in Japan, was established in 2013 as an international public-private partnership fund for global health R&D between the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), five Japanese pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme. GHIT Fund invests in and manages a portfolio of partnerships development aimed at neglected diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases control and elimination.

The event objectives were to highlight promising R&D partnerships between Japanese, African, and global entities, to showcase unique Japanese innovation in elimination of neglected diseases and to help strengthen existing partnerships and build potential new partnerships for access and delivery.

GHIT Fund has invested in drug development for mycetoma and clinical trial currently being conducted at the Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC), University of Khartoum, Sudan since 2017. Prof. Fahal, as the MRC director and responsible for the implementation of the clinical trial, was invited as a guest speaker to address the side event. He gave a comprehensive overview on the clinical trial and the excellent collaboration between the MRC, GHIT, DNDi and Eisai pharmaceutical Japan.

The event was addressed by Mrs Catherine Kaseri Ohura, GHIT Fund CEO and Executive Director, Prof Hiroki Nakatani, GHIT Fund Board Chair and Representative and Director. Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. The event was well attended and the audience included Dr. Elly Kourany-Lefoll, Head of Global Health Drug Development, Global Health Institute, Merck, Dr. Kaoru Terashima, Corporate Vice President, Invitro Diagnostics, FUJIFILM Corporation, Dr. Catharina Boehme, CEO, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND),  Dr. Kappei Tsukahara, Vice President, Chief Data Officer, Head of Tsukuba Research Laboratories, Eisai Co., Ltd and the Government of Japan representative, Dr Bernard Pécoul, Founder and Director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), Dr and Monique Wasunna, Director DNDi Africa.  

The meeting discussed the excellent efforts the GHIT Fund is exerting to improve the health and life quality of the neglected tropical affected communities worldwide.   The event was a unique opportunity for meeting colleagues and friends and networking with new collaborators. This extraordinary event was nicely and elegantly organised by Mr Bumpei Tamamura, Senior Director, Brand Communications.