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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Tuesday, September 12 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
[IN-PERSON] Ensuring Quality Point of Care Ultrasound Access to Improve Global Maternal and Fetal Health (121403) LIMITED

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Cure by Deerfield
345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010, USA
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Ensuring Quality Global Health Through Independent Validation: Certification

Training and independently validating proficiency of primary health clinicians through certification is in direct alignment with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Training and certification in healthcare enhances equity and access to care by upskilling primary clinicians and provides economic opportunity for both clinicians and health systems through local capacity building and partnerships. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that “eighty percent of global merchandise trade is influenced by testing and other measurement-related requirements of regulations and standards.” Standards through certification can also improve productivity and efficiency, increase economic competitiveness, and catalyze innovation.

SDG 3 states “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Expanding the number of clinicians that have been trained and certified to a maintained standard enhances the quality of care to a larger number of patients. As an example, the WHO Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025 states the imperative to “educat[e] enough midwives and nurses with competencies to meet population health needs”. To reach the SDG 3 targets requires expansion of primary clinicians’ scope of practice through policy change and standardized guidelines, culminating in certification.

Goal 4 “Ensure[s] inclusive and equitable quality education and promote[s] lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Goal 4.4 specifically requires “by 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.” Efforts must be grounded in Public-Private sector engagement within the health ecosystem, including (but not limited to) public and private hospital systems, education and training providers, Ministries of Health, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authorities (TVET), and Inteleos as an independent, ISO-accredited global certifier.
A systems approach must prioritize technology to increase equitable access to education, training, and certification by offering both online and in-person training as well as online assessment and certification. Training and certification can scale via virtual and augmented reality and simulation, and standardized interoperable and verified credentials of proficiency can be recognized through blockchain or another verifiable trust layer. This also supports Goal 9B: “Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.”

Goal 5 calls to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Many, though not all, health clinicians at the primary level are women. Focusing on these cadres for training and certification allows them to upskill, gain professional development and opportunities for increased salaries and leadership positions. With training, certification and devices, clinicians may have entrepreneurial opportunities to serve beneficiaries of care directly.

Goal 8 states: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” Local, national, and global financing entities can invest in standardizing healthcare, upskilling clinicians, and expanding human resources for health (HRH). Through an integrated and local approach of training in-country by local training entities, a fee-for-service model enables economic sustainability. Clinicians can also maintain larger train-the-trainer models, thus keeping economic gains in-country. Through innovative direct-to-patient platforms and apps that verify clinical credentials[1] already in existence in Kenya and South Africa to name a few, clinicians can serve patients at home or in more rural areas, not only expanding care but also individual economic opportunities. 
 There is a global healthcare ecosystem that can be economically driven towards the necessary advancement and impact outlined in the above Sustainable Development Goals. Independent validation of proficiency through certification is the key to ensure quality assurance and, ultimately continued progress of the Goals by 2030 and beyond.

 [1] https://www.ponea.com/ and https://www.quromedical.co.za/ as examples

avatar for Rita Lawlor

Rita Lawlor

Biobank Director, ARC-Net, University of Verona
Rita T. Lawlor is associate professor in the Department of Diagnostics and Public Health and a fellow of Information Privacy from IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals). Rita is originally a Computer Science graduate with a doctorate in translational biomedical... Read More →
avatar for Marleen Temmerman

Marleen Temmerman

Professor, The Aga Khan University, Kenya
Prof dr Marleen Temmerman, MD, MPH, PhD, FRCOG, FAAS, MBS, AAS, AAAS, NAM, leads the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya. Prior she was the Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization... Read More →
avatar for Pamela Ruiz

Pamela Ruiz

Chief Business Development Officer, Inteleos
Pamela Ruiz has over 20 years of comprehensive global experience in leadership, strategy, business development and global expansion. Pamela’s focus and passion is to create sustainable infrastructure and ecosystems to ensure equity, access, and agency. An avid learner, listener... Read More →
avatar for Nidhi Leekha

Nidhi Leekha

Consultant Radiologist, Aga Khan University, Nairobi
I am a consultant radiologist with subspecialty training in fetal imaging and contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Since 2015, I have been a practising consultant at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, where I head the ultrasonography department.My academic passion is expanding access... Read More →
avatar for Hlupheka Chabalala

Hlupheka Chabalala

Director, Department of Science and Innovation
Dr Chabalala is the current National Director of the Indigenous Knowledge-Based Technology Innovation Unit of the South African Department of Science and Technology. He is a Medical Natural Scientist with special interest in research, development and innovation of African Natural... Read More →
avatar for Aris Papageorghiou

Aris Papageorghiou

Professor of Fetal Medicine and the Clinical Research Director, Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute
Aris is a Professor of Fetal Medicine and the Clinical Research Director of the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute. He leads a number of research projects focused in the areas of maternal, fetal and perinatal health and using diverse methods - including basic science... Read More →

avatar for declan kirrane

declan kirrane

Chairman, Science Summit UNGA78
Declan Kirrane is the Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly, and co-founder of Medicines for Future (MAF). He has over 25 years of experience as a global senior... Read More →

Tuesday September 12, 2023 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Cure by Deerfield