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Kenya Explores Partnership Opportunities with Novo Nordisk and World Diabetes Foundation to Combat Non-Communicable Diseases

UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark
27th February 2024

The Ministry of Health, Kenya, represented by Mr. Harry Kimtai, the Principal Secretary of the State Department of Medical Services, engaged in fruitful discussions with Novo Nordisk's Corporate VP for Global Public Affairs and Sustainability, Katrine DiBona, along with representatives from the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) during a meeting held at Novo Nordisk's headquarters in Bagsvaerd.

Kenya, like many other countries, is grappling with the rising burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which account for over 40 percent of all deaths and more than half of inpatient admissions. With diabetes emerging as a significant concern, the government has prioritized NCD prevention and control as a crucial component of its health agenda.ย 

Currently, Kenya is implementing its second five-year national strategic plan for NCDs to address these challenges.

Acknowledging the valuable support received from WDF and NNF over the years for diabetes management and control, the Principal Secretary expressed gratitude for their contributions towards enhancing awareness and access to diabetes care and treatment in the country.

ย Notably, the WDF's funding of Euro 7,099,008 for a four-year project on integrating diabetes and hypertension prevention and control into primary healthcare has been instrumental in decentralizing diabetes care and strengthening the health system.

ย Furthermore, the recent launch of the Partnership for Education of Health Professionals (PEP) Kenya project, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, aims to bolster the institutional capacity of Medical Training Colleges in providing high-quality education for cardiometabolic diseases, reflecting a commitment to capacity building in the healthcare sector.

ย Despite the progress made, Kenya still faces challenges in access to treatment, commodity availability, and the high cost of certain products. In response, the government has initiated deliberate reforms in the health sector to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), including the establishment of the Social Health Authority and the creation of three funds to address emergency and chronic illnesses, including NCDs.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Health expressed interest in exploring potential collaborations with Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Nordisk, and WDF to support primary healthcare services, particularly in screening and managing diabetes at lower levels of care. Additionally, there was a request for support in establishing a manufacturing plant for insulin and other products in Kenya, with the aim of serving the East, Central, and South Africa regions.