Investments in health systems

What are Investments in health systems at AstraZeneca?

Company contributions to strengthening healthcare capabilities and infrastructure – particularly in developing and emerging markets – to facilitate access to healthcare and improved quality of healthcare and outcomes.

Our approach

The nature of diseases and their risk factors call for multi-sector involvement in prevention and control measures. We work with stakeholders to align on our shared objectives and develop interventions that are optimised to address local challenges on a sustainable basis, while leveraging our experience in health programming. This not only enhances local ownership, but it also enables sustainability of programme activities.

Our targets and progress

Our stories

Cancer screening in India

In 2019, AstraZeneca India launched Ganga Godavari Cancer Screening Programme, an early cancer screening programme for women in partnership with the Indian Cancer Society and Charities Aid Foundation India (CAF India). It conducts specialized screenings for oral, breast and cervical cancer for women who reside in slums and resettlement areas as well as workers in certain industries. The objectives are: to increase awareness of cancer risk factors and symptoms, reduce the stigma associated with cancer and create positive health-seeking behaviour for prevention.

Healthy Heart Africa reaches more people

Nearly 30% of African adults were estimated to have high blood pressure in 2014, the highest prevalence in any region.1 The Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) programme is designed to contribute to the prevention and control of hypertension and decreasing the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) across Africa. Currently in its 5th year of implementation and present in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda, the programme supports sustainable models by working with local health systems.

In 2019, HHA expanded into India. Each model works independently with partners in the country of implementation to address different health challenges and health environments, with the aim of providing a sustainable means of fighting hypertension in Africa. HHA, works together with local and global partners to 1) increase awareness and educate around lifestyle choice and CVD risk factors; 2) train providers and drive care to lower levels of the healthcare system and 3) facilitate access to low cost, high quality branded anti-hypertensives, where appropriate.

Making strides in Respiratory

This year the Healthy Lung programme expanded to the Philippines and Mexico, bringing the number of markets we are active in to 13. The Healthy Lung programme is designed to build local health systems to support the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases. This includes capacity building of healthcare professionals, medical infrastructure and policy advocacy.

In Mexico, we are a part of a multi-stakeholder strategic partnership to improve the capabilities of healthcare professionals in diagnosing and treating respiratory disease at the Primary Care level and generating local evidence to drive better outcomes for asthma and COPD patients in the healthcare system.

Investing in Oncology initiatives

AstraZeneca Singapore has recently launched Cancer can Give. The goal of this initiative is to empower cancer survivors to make a difference in society. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Cancer Society to demonstrate their commitment to join our efforts to improve the outcomes and lives of people impacted by cancer, by supporting our patients across the entire patient experience.

In 2019, AstraZeneca joined The Lung Ambition Alliance, a partnership with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Guardant Health, and the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC). The objective is to double the five year survival rate for lung cancer.

Investing in emerging markets

We recognise the substantial investments that must be made - in infrastructure and people - to reach patients and close gaps on unmet medical needs. Here are a few examples:


  • Knowledge partner for the new India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre, which aims to accelerate the uptake of solutions in clinics and hospitals across India, that make healthcare more patient-centric, affordable and accessible.
  • Partnership with the Nasscom IoT Centre of Excellence to set up an accelerator to support Indian start-ups working in the NCD space.

South Korea: Investments to accelerate healthcare, innovation and employment, in line with the government’s recently launched ‘Innovative Strategy on the Bio-health Industry’.

China: Established a joint-venture fund in partnership with a Chinese investment bank, to invest in Chinese health-care startups

Vietnam: Five-year investment to accelerate healthcare capacity development, R&D and talent development.


1. World Health Organization. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014. Available at: irisbitstream/10665/148114/1/9789241564854_eng.pdf?ua=1 Last accessed November 2017