Global aid programme expands to provide poor children with free type 1 diabetes care

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 05 Dec 2016
Global aid programme expands to provide poor children with free type 1 diabetes care
Children with type 1 diabetes living in developing countries have been given a lifeline thanks to the expansion of a global aid programme.

A total of 20,000 youngsters with the condition will have benefited from the Changing Diabetes in Children initiative by 2020 after a four-year extension to the programme with five new countries joining.

The Novo Nordisk project was launched in 2009 to provide children with free care and insulin. The initiative was designed to address the alarming statistic that, 10 years ago, a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa often had a life expectancy of less than 12 months.

So far 13,700 children in nine countries in Africa and South-East Asia have received free human insulin and access to diabetes care, with a significant number of the enrolled children now achieving good diabetes management.

More than 100 clinics have been created and over 7,000 doctors and nurses have been trained to deliver diabetes care as part of the programme, which aims to support sustainable quality care and improved diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

The nine already established countries in the programme, which is ran in partnership with the World Diabetes Foundation, include Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh and India.

The new countries coming on board are Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Senegal and Sudan.

President of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Professor Azad Khan said: "The Changing Diabetes in Children programme has been iconic. It has changed the lives of children with type 1 diabetes in Bangladesh. Their survival depends on the supply of insulin as well as education on how to cope with diabetes, and the programme provides all of this."

President and chief executive of Novo Nordisk Lars Rebien Sørensen added: "The provision of free medicine alone doesn’t solve complex healthcare challenges. From the outset of this programme, we have therefore worked closely with local partners to deliver sustainable solutions alongside insulin to improve the lives of children with type 1 diabetes both now and in the future."
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