Novartis Foundation Dialogue Explores Urban Health Challenges in Africa

More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas and healthcare services in growing cities are struggling. Experts from around the world are in Cape Town this week to discuss this growing health challenge.
Feb 6, 2017 1:15 AM ET

Rapid urbanization in low- and middle-income countries is having a significant impact on the health and wellbeing on the world’s population.  For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in an urban area – and by 2050, it’s estimated that 70% of will be living in towns and cities. Healthcare services in growing cities are struggling, and are already swamped with ongoing challenges like infectious diseases. They have limited time or resources to tackle chronic diseases like high blood pressure, which are often without symptoms early on, yet can cause long-term damage. 

The Novartis Foundation seeks to lead the way in finding solutions to meet this challenge. On February 6-7, 2017 is co-hosting the Urban Health in Africa Dialogue event in Cape Town, South Africa, with the International Society for Urban health (ISUH), InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – Health (IAP), International Council for Science (ICSU), Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), and the University of Basel. This is the first time that an event such as this, which brings together important stakeholders together to discuss urban health, is being held in Africa.

The dialogue will look more deeply at emerging urban health challenges. Over two days, participants will explore the emerging frameworks between urban health and urban planning as unique sectors that require multi-disciplinary collaboration to advance common agendas. It will also examine the challenges and opportunities of pursuing these multi-disciplinary approaches.

Read the full article on

This event is the latest in a series of Novartis Foundation Dialogues. To find out more, follow @NovartisFDN #urbanhealth

About the Novartis Foundation

The Novartis Foundation is a philanthropic organization pioneering innovative healthcare models that can have a transformational impact on the health of the poorest populations. We work hand-in-hand with our local and global partners to catalyze scalable and sustainable healthcare models to improve access and health outcomes, and to accelerate efforts to eliminate leprosy and malaria by focusing on interventions that aim to interrupt transmission. Everything we do is grounded in evidence and innovation, and our work is a continuous cycle of evaluation, adaptation and application. In 2016, the operational budget for the foundation was CHF 15 million and our programs reached 8.9 million people.

For more information, please visit:

Novartis Foundation is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @NovartisFDN at