Consolidating the Fight against Diabetes

Partnership objectives

  1. Primary prevention of diabetes in the general population with community outreach including schools.
  2. Prevention of disabling complications at primary and secondary care level for diabetic patients including support for patient education, the training of nursing staff and easier access to medicines.
  3. Care for people disabled by diabetes (amputees, hemiplegia, vision problems, etc.) leveraging the multidisciplinary care network.
  4. Improvements to the epidemiological surveillance system for diabetes and its complications.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes will affect over 500 million people worldwide in 2030. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes will affect over 500 million people worldwide in 2030. Copyright Handicap International

What are the health needs and challenges?

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes will affect over 500 million people worldwide in 2030. Developing countries will account for more than 76% of diabetics around the world. Africa will experience the world’s largest increase in diabetes between 2010 and 2030. Africa in 2030 will have over 23 million people with diabetes.

Africa is undergoing an epidemiological transition from communicable diseases to chronic noncommunicable diseases. The diabetes pandemic in Africa is due to:

  • The increasing age of its communities;
  • The rapid urbanization leading to a change in lifestyle, with a marked increase in sedentary activities, changes in nutrition, and the rapid increase of overweight people and obesity.

Difficulties to manage diabetes in Africa are mostly due to:

  • Difficult geographical and financial access to diabetes care, such as lack of medicines, consultation and analysis facilities, lack of trained health professionals to manage diabetes;
  • Lack of prevention programs;
  • Health systems which are not adapted to managing chronic diseases, and are focusing on priorities such as HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis.
People with diabetes use twice as many health services as people without diabetes.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Sanofi Espoir Foundation partnered with the NGO Handicap International to fight diabetes through actions on the ground in support of the country’s Ministry of Health and local stakeholders involved in community awareness-raising, healthcare professionals training. These actions had the objective to improve detection and early management of patients, as well as rehabilitation of those affected by disabilities.

Following the initial pilot-project phase, Handicap International and Sanofi Espoir Foundation decided to continue their commitment to fight diabetes by stepping up the scale with three completed, consolidated projects aimed at changing health systems in recipient countries so that they can better respond to neglected needs.

In 2009, Sanofi Espoir Foundation participated in the publication of a Guide dedicated to NGOs in order to help them analyze needs and the diabetes situation in countries with limited resources.               

Lessons learned

The outcomes of this partnership, together with its innovative approach and multi-year dimension have managed to persuade the European Union and the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry to provide financial support for this concept.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

In 2013, 46,699 people in Philippines and Nicaragua received medical support and access to care and 1,900 people were trained.


Committed to Improving Global Diabetes Management

Diabetes, a Developing Disease

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Burundi Ministry of Health, European Union, Handicap International, Kenya Ministry of Health, Local government & associations, Luxembourg Ministry of EU and Foreign Affairs, Nicaragua Ministry of Health, Philippines Department of Health, Tanzania Ministry of Health

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Diabetes

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Men, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 5

Country(ies) Burundi, Kenya, Nicaragua, Philippines, Tanzania

Start Date 2006

More information Sanofi Espoir

Completed date 2013

« Diabetes is responsible for amputation, a major cause of disability...Compare diabetes with diseases such as HIV, malaria or cancer, it is clearly a very neglected disease. This is because historically, it was considered a rich-country disease. »

Carolyne Nalyanya - Project Manager Handicap International