Strengthening national health systems to sustainably improve diabetes care and prevent diabetes complications via integrated care

Three in four people with diabetes now live in  low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), raising an urgent question: how can countries dealing with multiple health challenges best address the growing burden of diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)? 

Primary level care is the first point of contact with the healthcare system for most people, and an essential starting point for health systems looking to strengthen their NCD responses. When healthcare professionals are trained and accurate diagnostics and registries are in place, diabetes can be detected early and complications prevented. Strong referral systems at the primary level ensure early treatment and better outcomes for individuals and lower costs for healthcare systems. 

Integrated care, which focuses on co-ordination of care around peoples´ needs, can provide an effective and affordable path to strengthen primary care. In the context of NCDs, integrated health services are implemented in a way that ensures people living with NCDs receive a full continuum of health care, in ways that fit local contexts.

Our approach is to strengthen diabetes care at the primary healthcare level.

WDF believes that strong primary health care is the most inclusive, effective and efficient approach to building sustainable health systems and addressing the growing burden of diabetes in LMICs.

WDF supports interventions that focus on:

•    Strengthening primary care and community health
•    Developing national policy and protocols
•    Strengthening the capacity of Health Care Practitioners (HCPs)
•    Strengthening health information systems, including patient registries
•    Strengthening supply chains
•    Other interventions addressing specific groups, setting and approaches

In addition to integrated care, WDF's work is guided by the principles of Life-Course Approach and Universal Health Coverage.