The Ministry of Health has partnered with pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, and other key partners to establish an implementation plan to launch the Affordability Initiative for diabetes care in Kenya. This partnership comes at a time when the world marks 100 years of insulin use.

The framework which is seen as the next level intervention in diabetes by Novo Nordisk has also brought on board 13 county governments and other organizations including supply chain organizations and allied bodies.

Other key partners in this initiative include

  • Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Christian Health Association of Kenya
  • Kenya Diabetes Study Group
  • Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association
  • Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies
  • Medtronic Labs
  • Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya
  • Philips Therapeutics
  • Royal Danish Embassy.

Considering the economic vulnerabilities faced by many of the patients living with diabetes in the country, the Affordability initiative seeks to ensure affordable insulins supplied reach patients. This will ultimately reach more people with quality care and treatments, and empower people with diabetes to better manage their condition while at the same time building the capacity of health care workers.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Nairobi, Emil Larsen, CVP Business Area Middle East, Africa and CIS of Novo Nordisk said, “The main objective of the initiative is to accelerate access to affordable treatment for patients living with diabetes in Africa in a sustainable manner in four key areas. These are capacity, affordability, reach and empowerment thus ensuring more patients will be treated to defeat diabetes in Middle Africa, especially at this time of the celebration of 100 years of the discovery of Insulin.”

The Affordability initiative being a key part of iCARE, is a collaborative agreement to improve access to diabetes care in Kenya. The initiative also seeks to find ways to bring diabetes treatment and insulin to patients by leveraging already existing supply chains, health care facilities and the public sector.

With Kenya having 552,400 adults (20-79 years) with diabetes1, the Affordability initiative presents a unique opportunity for the country to leverage much needed partnerships with the private sector. This aligned with thoughts from Dr. Ephantus Maree, the Head, Division of NCD Prevention. “The government is working on strengthening data collection from counties through the Kenya Health Information System (KHIS) to improve on diabetes care and intervention,” he said.

Also speaking at the forum, Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o observed that awareness is still very low especially in rural areas and they don’t know what kind of intervention they need to manage their conditions. “We need to strengthen our awareness programs to cover the rural areas adequately,” he added.

The company will continue to support improved access to insulin and diabetes education for patients living with diabetes, through innovative projects and partnerships with various stakeholders to drive change to defeat diabetes.