BAGSVÆRD, DENMARK 20 April 2020 -
The COVID-19 virus outbreak has affected countries worldwide, but scenarios across sub-Saharan Africa are still uncertain although cases are confirmed and on the rise in many parts of the region. From the global data observed so far it is known that people living with diabetes, hypertension and other NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are at high risk of severe and even fatal illness from a COVID-19 infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a series of recommended measures and interventions to contain the COVID-19 spread, and also with emphasis on NCDs. However, health authorities and health care systems in sub-Saharan Africa are already overstretched whereby this new virus outbreak and the response required could pose a huge additional challenge. This is also the case in Tanzania, where the outbreak may still be in its earlier stage but where the government has imposed a range of restrictions and a national COVID-19 response plan is being prepared and implemented.
With this new grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation, WDF will be able to provide urgently needed support to the COVID-19 response in Tanzania, starting in the densely urbanised city of Dar Es Salaam with a population of more than six million. Activities to be funded will include awareness raising and access to care with focus on people with diabetes and other NCDs, but also on wider protective measures and capacity building of the health system.
Ms Hanna Line Jakobsen, Senior Vice President, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says in the occasion of the grant announcement: “By strengthening the work that the World Diabetes Foundation is already doing in Tanzania, this project will contribute to raising the awareness about COVID-19 and thereby reduce the risk of people with pre-existing NCDs getting exposed to the virus. Combined with a better access to healthcare for COVID-19 patients also diagnosed with NCDs, the project can have a great impact on alleviating the consequences of the virus.”
Mr Leif Fenger Jensen, Managing Director, World Diabetes Foundation, says: “WDF has supported diabetes and NCD programmes in Tanzania for the past 15 years and we see it as our obligation to offer additional support in this critical moment. We know that people with diabetes and other NCDs are very exposed to this new virus and we are hopeful that the grant towards the national COVID-19 response will help to ensure that they receive necessary medical services and other support. We are grateful to the Tanzania Diabetes Association and to the Tanzanian government and health authorities, and to our other partners in Tanzania, for this opportunity to contribute.”
About the World Diabetes Foundation
The World Diabetes Foundation is a leading global funder of diabetes prevention and care projects in the developing world. Our vision is to alleviate human suffering related to diabetes among those in greatest need. We pursue sustainable, scalable approaches, helping countries meet global goals for improved care of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
Since 2002, the World Diabetes Foundation has provided 151 million USD in funding to 552 partnership projects in 116 countries. Read more at: www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org
About the Novo Nordisk Foundation
The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an independent Danish foundation with corporate interests. It has two objectives: 1) to provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities of the companies in the Novo Group; and 2) to support scientific, humanitarian and social causes.
The vision of the Foundation is to contribute significantly to research and development that improves the lives of people and the sustainability of society. Since 2010, the Foundation has donated more than DKK 25 billion (€3.3 billion), primarily for research at public institutions and hospitals in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. Read more at www.novonordiskfonden.dk/en
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