On the World Diabetes Day, Novo Nordisk announced a four-year extension of its Changing Diabetes in Children programme which provides access to diabetes care and free insulin to children with type 1 diabetes in developing countries.
The expansion sees five new countries join the programme; Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Senegal and Sudan. By 2020, more than 20,000 children over the course of 11 years will have benefited from the programme.
Ten years ago, a child in Sub-Saharan Africa diagnosed with type 1 diabetes often had a life expectancy of less than a year. In response, Novo Nordisk established the Changing Diabetes in Children programme to support sustainable quality care and improved diagnosis of the condition. Since the start of the programme in 2009, 13,700 children in nine countries in Africa and South-East Asia have received free human insulin and access to diabetes care.
“The Changing Diabetes in Children programme has been iconic,” says Professor Azad Khan, president of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh. “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.”
A large number of children enrolled in the program are experiencing good control and have a chance to lead healthier lives. To date, 108 clinics have been established and more than 7,000 healthcare professionals have been trained in diabetes care.
In addition to providing access to insulin, the Changing Diabetes in Children programme aims to support the development of sustainable healthcare systems. Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and CEO of Novo Nordisk, expressed: “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.”