Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 31 million to fight noncommunicable diseases in Tanzania

Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 31 million to fight noncommunicable diseases in Tanzania

24 Feb 2019

Noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are rapidly rising in many parts of the world, and especially in Africa, where the World Health Organization estimates that noncommunicable diseases will cause more than one quarter of all deaths by 2030.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is awarding a grant of DKK 31 million (USD 5 million) to the World Diabetes Foundation to support a project in Tanzania aimed at strengthening access to treatment for people with diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases as close to their homes as possible. The project will improve access to diagnosis and treatment at community healthcare clinics across Tanzania by training thousands of healthcare workers.

“This project aims to support Tanzania’s ambitious approach towards prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, whereby the health system would gradually move towards a more broadly defined system of healthcare that integrates noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and other main disease groups and conditions,” says Leif Fenger Jensen, Managing Director, World Diabetes Foundation.

In addition to improving access to treatment, the project will contribute to enhancing disease prevention and health education in Tanzania’s healthcare system, especially focusing on the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Further, teachers in all parts of Tanzania will receive continuing education as part of giving higher priority to the national school health programme, focusing on promoting healthy diets and physical activity.

Hanna Line Jakobsen, Head of Social, Humanitarian and Development Aid, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “Untreated diabetes and hypertension can lead to serious complications and often inability to work, which can be catastrophic for the affected individuals but also for their families’ livelihoods. We hope that this project will make a big difference in Tanzania and will also provide important lessons to inspire the implementation of similar projects in other countries.”

Expanding the collaboration to other countries
Tanzania’s health authorities and health system will implement the World Diabetes Foundation project, which will thus be integrated into the current national programmes for combating noncommunicable diseases. The collaboration builds on the World Diabetes Foundation’s longstanding commitment in Tanzania, and the model of support for national health programmes focusing on noncommunicable diseases may be extended to other countries in Africa.

About the World Diabetes Foundation

The World Diabetes Foundation was established in 2002 and is headquartered in Denmark. The Foundation is dedicated to preventing and treating diabetes in low- and middle-income countries by supporting projects and initiatives related to information and education, health promotion and access to care.

To date, the Foundation has supported more than 500 projects in over 100 countries and collaborates with health ministries, civil society and international organizations

Further information

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805,