Novo Nordisk announced the roll-out of its Changing Diabetes in Children program in India, making India the seventh country to participate. The aim of the program is to contribute to meeting the fourth UN Millennium Goal—to reduce child mortality—by breaking down the barriers that prevent children with Type I diabetes in developing countries from receiving proper care. The program is currently operating in six countries—Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea, Tanzania, and Uganda, and Novo Nordisk plans to launch the program in Kenya within the next few months.
The program provides free insulin, blood glucometers and strips for children with Type I diabetes. A comprehensive training manual for healthcare professionals and diabetes educators has been developed as well as locally adapted educational materials for children and their families. In India, there are plans to open 12 Changing Diabetes in Children clinics covering a total of 10 Indian stages, making it the most extensive program launch to date.
It is estimated that there are 50 million people living with diabetes in India, and the program’s goal is to reach 2500 children by its completion in 2015. By that time, a sustainable cooperation with local partners, including governments and diabetes foundations should be in place. The program is designed to provide immediate, short-term access to diabetes care, while building a framework for a lasting and long-term solution. According to the program’s website, “When the Changing Diabetes in Children program ends, our hope and intention is that it is properly embedded in the national healthcare systems and will continue as a government initiative.”