Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk has opened its eleventh Diabetes Support Center, improving access to affordable diabetes treatment in some of the largest cities in Ghana and Nigeria.
The new Diabetes Support Center at Holy Family Hospital in Nkawkaw, Ghana will provide insulin and glucose testing equipment at a reduced cost, access to trained healthcare professionals and free diabetes screening for the general public. The centers are part of the company’s Base of the Pyramid project to help improve diabetes care and lessen the financial burden of diabetes treatment for low-income groups.
“Living on $300 per month for housing, food, transportation and childcare is very tight and poses challenges for people in the income bracket living with diabetes,” said Oluwaseun Ishola, regional manager at Novo Nordisk. “A lot of times, people with diabetes have to travel considerable distances to multiple locations to access care from the doctor, get test results from the laboratory and then another location to pick up their insulin.”
The new diabetes support center in Holy Family Hospital is a one-stop facility that houses patient care services in a single location that both reduces costs and improves treatment outcomes.
Similar to established Diabetes Support Centers in Ghana and Nigeria, the Holy Family Hospital center aims to ensure a consistent and affordable supply of medicine and access to diagnostic equipment. Novo Nordisk works in collaboration with Palb Pharmaceuticals in Ghana and Roche Diabetes Care in Nigeria to help doctors better diagnose optimizing treatment and for patients to achieve improved control.
Undiagnosed diabetes remains a problem in both Nigeria and Ghana and the centers will periodically offer, free diabetes screening in surrounding communities. In Nigeria and Ghana, less than 55 percent and 25 percent of people living with diabetes, respectively, know that they have the disease and less than 10 percent have access to any kind of diabetes treatment, including insulin.
In Nigeria, seven centers have been established including two opened in the city of Akure to mark World Diabetes Day on November 14. Across both Ghana and Nigeria, nine centers went into full operation in 2014.
In 2012, Novo Nordisk was named the most sustainable corporation in the world by Corporate Knights, the Toronto-based media company focused on “clean capitalism.” Corporate Knights’ 2012 Global 100 list included companies from 22 countries encompassing all sectors of the economy, with collective annual sales in excess of $3.02 trillion, and 5,285,645 million employees.