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Novo Nordisk Launches Low-Income Diabetes Clinics in Ghana

Diabetes care supplier Novo Nordisk has opened two new clinics in Ghana as part of its Base of the Pyramid program, which creates partnerships to build sustainable access to diabetes care for people with low incomes.

The two diabetes clinics serve very different areas of Accra, Ghana’s capital – one suburban and relatively prosperous, and the other populated by people with lower incomes. The clinics are designed to be one-stop, offering screening, access, and a stable and affordable supply of insulin to an area with more than half a million people.

"Ghana has one of the highest rates of undiagnosed diabetes — 73 percent, or more than 330,000 residents, are unaware of the disease. This is a ticking bomb unless we do something about it," said Mike Doustdar, SVP of Novo Nordisk's International Operations. "This is one of two initiatives here in Ghana, and the plan is to go for four. And we will hopefully go from four to eight, and from Ghana to other countries."

The clinics began receiving patients even before they opened, Novo Nordisk says. Hundreds of local people gathered for blood measurements and health tests, many of them pregnant women who crossed the street from other departments of the hospital where it is located. After its first day of operation, it became clear that many people in Ghana have been going about their lives with undiagnosed diabetes.

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BOP also operates clinics in Nigeria, Kenya and India.

In other diabetes-related news, the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) in January signed a long-term research agreement with Wisconsin-based Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, stem cell banking and in vivo cellular therapeutic research. Nestlé’s research could provide the scientific basis for new nutritional solutions that could play an important role in helping to prevent or slow the onset of certain serious human health conditions, including obesity, diabetes and cognitive disorders.

Diabetes was also one of the issues target by the Social Investment Research Council (SIRC), an alliance of five major organizations aimed at generating powerful and practical insights for the benefit of social sector organizations and investors. The research body seeks to maximize the benefits for socially motivated investors by enhancing knowledge within the sector.

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