Together on Diabetes

Partnership objectives

  1. Improve health outcomes of people living with type 2 diabetes in China and India by strengthening patient self-management education, community-based supportive services and broad-based community mobilization.
  2. Help communities to build, integrate and coordinate medical, non-medical and policy efforts, and expand the base of community organizations actively involved in and bringing their know-how, reach, influence and assets to the fight against type 2 diabetes.
  3. Radically rethink and test new ideas about how diabetes control efforts are approached, designed, implemented and measured given the current and future scale of the epidemic and the long duration of the disease journey.

Working with government and NGO partners in China and India, Together on Diabetes is promoting health equity and improving health outcomes among people living with type 2 diabetes. Working with government and NGO partners in China and India, Together on Diabetes is promoting health equity and improving health outcomes among people living with type 2 diabetes. Copyright BMS Foundation

What are the health needs and challenges?

Diabetes is a global epidemic that carries with it a particularly set of complex challenges. Changing lifestyles, low levels of disease awareness and prevention education and poor access to treatment are contributing to the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in China and India, the world’s two most populous nations.

The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) reports that more than 109 million people in China had diabetes in 2015, the most of any country. That figure is projected to grow to 129.7 million, or 12.1 percent of the population, by 2030. China alone had 1.3 million deaths due to diabetes in 2015.

India, which has 61.26 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (8.3 percent of the population), ranks second only to China in total cases and third behind the United States (10.9 percent) and China in terms of prevalence. By 2030, India will have 101.2 million people with type 2 diabetes, IDF projects.

Millions of more people are undiagnosed. In fact, the International Diabetes Federation estimates that globally as many as half of the people living with diabetes are unaware of their condition. 

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Together on Diabetes™ is the flagship philanthropic program of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. In China, BMS is working with several foundations to reach out to patients, health care providers and to reduce the socio-economic burden of diabetes management for families and public health facilities. For instance, BMS Foundation is working with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on a project to enhance the capacity of rural health care providers to manage and prevent type 2 diabetes at the village level in Western China, where diabetes is growing at a faster rate than in China’s cities. Efforts focus on identifying high-risk rural populations and ensuring timely interventions to prevent disease onset. These interventions include health care provider training, disease screenings and patient education. The Chinese CDC is also mobilizing government and community leaders to prioritize diabetes disease management.

In India, BMS partners with local actors such as the MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child to increase the skills of community health volunteers to provide diabetes risk-management education and family counselling for non-communicable diseases. The project also links patients to health care providers in order to promote healthy lifestyles, early detection and healthy behaviors. 

Partnership information

Company(ies) Bristol-Myers Squibb

Partner(s) All India Institute of Diabetes and Research, Beijing Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Association, CDC China, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Humana People to People, Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child, Sanjivani Health and Relief Committee, Shanghai Charity Foundation, United Way Mumbai Helpline

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Diabetes

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) General population, Men

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific

Number of Countries 26

Country(ies) Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam

Start Date 2012

More information Together on Diabetes

Anticipated completion date 2017

« We are almost at a tipping point where understanding, urgency, commitment and action are about to converge and together we can begin to make strides against the global diabetes challenge. »

John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation