New WDF strategy responds to changing diabetes landscape

WDF’s 2021-25 strategy builds on core interventions and the principles guiding global diabetes and NCD responses.

12 March 2021 Gwendolyn Carleton

The new WDF strategy responds to the urgent need to strengthen health systems and enhance the quality of diabetes care, especially at the primary level. Photo by Jesper Westley.

Marginalised, vulnerable and underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) continue to be hardest hit by diabetes and its complications. Yet responses remain under-resourced, both from domestic resources and development assistance. 

Fortunately, the global response to NCDs has gained momentum in recent years, attracting new attention to the area and creating new opportunities. WDF is responding to the changing landscape with a new strategy that increases its focus on core interventions and alignment with the principles guiding global NCD responses. 

WDF’s 2021-25 strategy responds to the urgent need to strengthen health systems and enhance the quality of diabetes care, especially at the primary level. Primary prevention is a focus because the burden of diabetes is rising in LMICs, according to Leif Fenger Jensen, WDF Managing Director. 

The strategy is built on two intervention areas, Care and Primary Prevention, and one cross-cutting area, Advocacy.

•    Within Care, priority will be given to strengthening diabetes care at the primary level. 

•    Within Primary Prevention, we will prioritise interventions addressing the social determinants of health and targeting pregnant women and children with a focus on the two main risk factors, diet and physical activity. 

•    Advocacy is now defined as a cross-cutting area supporting the Care and Primary Prevention intervention areas and focusing on increasing political and financial attention towards diabetes in LMICs. 

Three principles underpinning global and national approaches to NCD care will guide WDF´s work: Integrated Care, Life-course approach and Universal health coverage.

The strategy includes a call for prioritisation that will likely lead to WDF support for fewer but larger scale projects. It also calls for an increased focus on impact, sustainability and results measurement. 

Setting a strong course

The new strategy reflects an evolution - rather than a fundamental change - in WDF’s approach to diabetes prevention and care, Mr Jensen says. 

“Even though we come from the diabetes space, we are trying to avoid creating siloed or parallel systems; this is reflected in the new strategy’s increased emphasis on system strengthening,” he explains. “Such strengthening requires establishing broader coalitions of partners under the leadership and guidance of national authorities.” 

“Our new strategy sets a strong course,” he adds. “We look forward to travelling it, together with our many dedicated partners, over the next five years.” 

Visit WDF´s website to learn more

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