We are in the midst of a pandemic that could result in millions of premature deaths, billions in additional healthcare costs and trillions in lost economic growth, particularly in emerging markets that are increasingly being counted upon to drive global economic growth.
If this sounds familiar, it should.
Nearly a decade ago, driven by increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS and its impact, the global community coalesced around this growing crisis and made the fight against the disease one of the great success stories of our generation.
One of the key turning points was a United Nations summit on HIV/AIDS in 2001. Similarly, we now have a forthcoming opportunity to address our most pressing global health challenge: “non-communicable,” or chronic, diseases.
Next September, the first-ever United Nations summit on non-communicable diseases will be held. It is a prime opportunity to elevate chronic disease on the global agenda. And it’s a life or death decision for the world’s human and economic health.
That’s why Medtronic is taking part in the Clinton Global Initiativeand why we have made a $1 million commitment to the Non-Communicable Disease Allianceto support its efforts to address this burgeoning epidemic.
Both the Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations meeting on its Millennium Development Goals, also taking place this week, reinforce the need for collaborations across borders and industries to effectively address global issues.
One of the Clinton Global Initiative’s core themes is improving access to technology. As the global leader in medical technology, Medtronic works to provide our innovation — defibrillators, glucose monitoring systems and stents, as examples — to the people around the world who need them.
Ultimately, our work falls short unless we ensure access, availability and affordability of technology, particularly to those on the lower tiers of the global economic pyramid.