02. Dec 2021

Sri Lanka and Tanzania selected as Diabetes Compass launch countries

Sri Lanka and Tanzania selected as Diabetes Compass launch countries

Gwendolyn Carleton
The Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists and Tanzania Diabetes Association will lead the implementation in their respective countries, with launch expected by 2024.
Dr Sashini Jayaratne (left) and Dr Vindya Kumarapeli (right), both from the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health – NCD Unit, meeting with Michael Calopietro (middle) during a partner workshop in Sri Lanka in October 2021.

Tanzania and Sri Lanka will be the first official launch countries for the Diabetes Compass, acting as innovators, co-creators, and incubators for the initiative and generating learnings to take it to scale. 

The launch countries were selected based on a dialogue between WDF and its worldwide partner network. Both countries demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of diabetes care and demand for affordable and appropriate technology-driven solutions that address barriers to diabetes care. 

The Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists and Tanzania Diabetes Association will lead the implementation of the Diabetes Compass in Sri Lanka and Tanzania respectively. As lead country partners, they will be the main link to local authorities, communities and end users. 

“We look forward to collaborating with our new partners in both Tanzania and Sri Lanka. Both have impressive track records and knowledge within diabetes care, and a leading position in their respective countries - they will play a vital role in ensuring a strong start for the Diabetes Compass,” says Michael Calopietro, Head of Digital Health Solutions with WDF.

National and global collaboration

The lead country partners will work closely with national authorities, diabetes organisations and knowledge institutions to ensure that the solution addresses unmet needs on the ground and is aligned with existing priorities and initiatives. 

These partners include Tanzanian Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly & Children (MoHCDGEC), President’s Office of Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and Sri Lanka Ministry of Health.

The lead country partners will also collaborate closely with the Diabetes Compass’ global partners to leverage technology-enabled solutions to reduce vulnerabilities in the Diabetes Care Pathway – with a focus on improving early detection, clinical assessment, and initiation of care. 

“SLCE is working to address challenges in diabetes care across Sri Lanka, including improving access to care, prevention and management of diabetes. We are excited to start collaborating with the Diabetes Compass and explore innovative digital solutions to address some of these challenges,” says Dr Noel Somasundaram from SLCE.

“We are pleased to enter into this strategically important partnership. The Diabetes Compass has great potential of supporting our ongoing effort of strengthening awareness, screening and quality of care in Tanzania,” says Prof. Dr. Kaushik Ramaiya, Hon. Secretary General, Tanzania Diabetes Association. 

Workshop in Tanzania with the Tanzania Diabetes Association, MUHAS, PO-RALG, the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and the World Diabetes Foundation, October 2021.

Leveraging digital solutions

The Diabetes Compass is a commitment to improve the quality of diabetes care in low- and middle-income countries by leveraging emerging digital solutions. Using an inclusive and need-based approach, it aims to identify key vulnerabilities in the Diabetes Care Pathway and design and launch digital health solutions that reduce these vulnerabilities and improve outcomes for patients. 

It is expected to be launched in selected countries by the end of 2024. After the initial launches, work will continue to adapt and roll out the Diabetes Compass in other countries where it can make an impact.

The Diabetes Compass is aligned with the goals set out by the WHO Global Diabetes Compact. It is supported by a joint donation of DKK 100 million (USD ~16 million) from Novo Nordisk A/S and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and led by the World Diabetes Foundation.

About the partners

SLCE is a leading voice of diabetes science, medicine, medical education, and health promotion in Sri Lanka. 

TDA is a focal point for supporting people living with diabetes in Tanzania through social motivation, empowerment, and education.