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Strategic partnership to fight noncommunicable diseases in Tanzania

The project seeks to improve access to treatment, as well as enhance disease prevention and health education, of non-communicable diseases in Tanzania.


Mette Ide Davidsen
Director, Global Health Programmes, Social & Humanitarian, Novo Nordisk Fonden

The Novo Nordisk Foundation supports a multi-year effort in Tanzania with DKK 31 million (USD 5 million) through the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF). The effort aims to offer people with diabetes and other non-communicable diseases in Tanzania treatment as close to their homes as possible. This approach will improve access to diagnosis and treatment at community health clinics by training thousands of healthcare professionals. 

In addition to improving access to treatment, the project will also contribute to enhancing disease prevention and health education, with a focus on risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, teachers across the country will receive continuing education as part of an effort to give higher priority to the national school health programme, focusing on promoting healthy diets and physical activity. 

The initiatives are a key part of Tanzania’s first national programme for the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases. The collaboration is based on WDF’s many years of commitment in Tanzania. It is the aspiration that other African countries will be able to learn from the programme. 

The number of people with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes is on the rise in Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that lifestyle diseases will cause more than one in four deaths in 2030. Despite this, very few low- and middle-income countries have the resources and capacity to effectively implement prevention programmes and control non-communicable diseases today.