The World Partner Project
A fundamental issue is how the diabetes pandemic will affect developing countries’ ability to grow and develop. Developing countries face a double burden of disease. Populations suffering from existing infections and malnutrition are now being hit by the growing problem of diabetes and other chronic diseases putting even more pressure on access to health and exacerbating poverty. In the developing world, children die from diabetes.
The purpose of the World Partner Project (WPP) is to establish a foundation on which developing countries can build their own healthcare strategies and ultimately improve access to proper care. WPP always works with local partners, usually health ministries and/or patient organisations. It is funded by a grant from Novo Nordisk.
Launched in 2001, WPP and its partners have driven 31 projects in eight focus countries (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Tanzania, Zambia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, China and India), organising clinics, and providing distance learning for healthcare professionals, educating people with diabetes and raising diabetes awareness. The focus for all projects is sustainability: they must be affordable and practical enough for long-term operation.
Going forward, WPP will continue to facilitate established projects in the focus countries until these projects are seen to be self-sustaining. During 2008, Novo Nordisk assisted national diabetes organisations in the focus countries to consolidate efforts in order to continue the projects.
Since 2008 three new countries have been in focus: Nigeria, Mexico and Indonesia. These are countries with a well-functioning health care system and a great business potential. In Indonesia, training workshops for internists were organised, in collaboration with the Endocrine Society of Indonesia. Similarly, training of healthcare professionals is ongoing in Nigeria. In addition, Novo Nordisk co-sponsored a congress in Lagos entitled ‘Corporate Africa Partnership for prevention and care’, in collaboration with the Global Business Council. The purpose was to raise awareness of diabetes among policy makers.