Changing diabetes care for children in Africa

  • Adolescent testing his blood glucose level prior to insulin treatment
    Adolescent testing his blood glucose level prior to insulin treatment
  • Doctor explaining how to inject insulin
    Doctor explaining how to inject insulin
  • Educational material designed specifically for children and adolescents in Africa
    Educational material designed specifically for children and adolescents in Africa
  • Testing people's blood glucose levels for diabetes in Africa
    Testing people's blood glucose levels for diabetes in Africa

Provide comprehensive diabetes care for children with type 1 diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and improve the healthcare systems of resource-limited countries.

Challenge

Childhood diabetes has a high mortality rate in poor and developing countries. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that there are 542,000 children under the age of 15 years with type 1 diabetes in the world. Around half of them live in developing countries. Children in the region with type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) are often not identified. Even if diagnosed, few have sufficient access to insulin, syringes and monitoring equipment and die as a result. Life expectancy is often less than a year.

What we’re doing

To address the growing problem of diabetes in the world’s poorest countries, in 2009 Roche joined Novo Nordisk’s five-year Changing Diabetes® in Children programme. Formed in partnership with the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF), the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescence Diabetes as (ISPAD) and key opinion leaders, the programme aims to build long-term solutions for sustainable diabetes care.

The focus is on working with local partners to improve care by helping build infrastructure and strengthening overall healthcare capacity, with the eventual goal of supporting all people with diabetes.

Key components of the program include:

  • Establishing clinics where children with diabetes can be diagnosed and receive specialised care.
  • Improving infrastructure and supply of medical and laboratory equipment.
  • Training healthcare professionals and diabetes educators using education materials and workshops specifically adapted to a developing country setting.
  • Overcoming financial hurdles by providing free insulin and blood glucose measuring equipment for the children during the programme for a period of five years.
  • Developing educational materials for children and their families and organising education sessions and children’s camps to support better diabetes self-management.
  • Building long-term solutions for improving availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of diabetes care for children with type 1 diabetes.

Our impact

The programme has been rolled out in several African countries and in South Asia including Bangladesh Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

In 2016, more than 8,360 children have been registered into the programme involving 90 clinics with 3,919 trained healthcare workers. 

Patient education materials have been developed in English, French, Amharic, Swahili and Spanish are freely available on the Novo Nordisk website. A basic training manual for healthcare professionals on type 1 diabetes in children has been developed along with patient portrait films and are freely available. And an electronic patient registry has been developed and distributed.

 

In November 2016, Novo Nordisk announced the expansion of the programme up to 2020 which entails expanding to five new countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sudan) an ambition of reaching 20,000 children.

We also committed to continue our support up until 2020 in the eleven African countries. Read the press release here

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Tags: Access to healthcare, Africa