On the 6th of April 2017, the Danish Ambassador Tove Degnbol was at the University Hospital Treichville in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on the occasion of the launch of Novo Nordisk programme “Changing Diabetes in Children”. The programme aims at treating 500 children with type 1 diabetes and training 800 healthcare professionals in Côte d'Ivoire.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene and the association “J’aide le diabétique”, Novo Nordisk is providing insulin free of cost, training health care professionals, and establishing 19 centres to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes in children.
Partnering up to improve services
In front of the crowd of notable leaders and professionals from the health sector, Ambassador Tove Degnbol congratulated the Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene with the partnership. She underlined that there is a need for collaboration between the public and private sector to ensure efficient service delivery and assured that the Embassy of Denmark is ready to facilitate more of these partnerships in the future.
Being a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has high ambitions for the “Changing Diabetes in Children”-programme. Mr. Venkat Kalyan, General Manager of Novo Nordisk Middle Africa, stated that the ambition is to have treated 20,000 children globally by 2020 as part of Novo Nordisk’s quest to change diabetes.
Professor Simplice Dagnan N'Cho, Director General of Health, mentioned how children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Côte d’Ivoire face a life expectancy of between 7 months and 7 years. The collaboration with Novo Nordisk is consequently welcomed warmly and it is the hope that the project can increase the life expectancy of the affected children to 60 years.
In addition to the launch of the “Changing Diabetes in Children”-programme, the occasion was also used for signing a Memorandum of Understanding between Novo Nordisk and the Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene regarding collaboration on the future treatment of diabetes in children in Côte d'Ivoire.
Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in childhood and requires lifelong treatment with insulin because the body’s pancreas has ceased to produce insulin. If children with type 1 diabetes are not treated they will eventually die. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 542,000 children under the age of 15 are affected by type 1 diabetes. Additionally, the IDF estimates that 7,600 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Africa every year.