A century after the discovery of insulin, millions of people living with diabetes cannot obtain or afford the necessary supplies to self-manage their diabetes on a day-to-day basis. PATH partners with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to improve access to diabetes self-care in Mali, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
PATH and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust are partnering on a new three-year $5.2 million initiative to increase access to safe administration of insulin and high-quality self-care for people living with diabetes.
Globally, more than 464 million people have diabetes, and the majority live in low- and middle-income countries. More than half of people living with diabetes struggle to access the insulin and other medications they need. Additionally, a portion of this population cannot access the commodities needed to measure their blood glucose (glucometers, test strips, lancets, etc.) or safely administer the insulin itself (needles and syringes). These challenges were further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The unmet needs of people living with diabetes in the African region are extensive. The Diabetes CarePak project can help us achieve more equitable access to commodities and tools critical to sustaining and saving the lives of people living with diabetes,” said Dr. Nanthalile Mugala, PATH’s Chief of the Africa Region.
The Diabetes CarePak project, already underway in Kenya, takes a human-centered design approach in developing a bundle of products and consumables that will be co-located alongside insulin and oral diabetes medication. In addition to the bundle of commodities, the Diabetes CarePak project will co-create educational content with people living with diabetes to facilitate their own self-care, as well as associated health care worker capacity-building strategies and materials. The goal of this project is to ensure people have affordable and reliable access to the products, tools, and information they need to maintain good blood glucose control, in addition to ensuring they have access to trained health care providers.
“We look forward to working with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to expand our work on the Diabetes CarePak project to Tanzania, Mozambique, and Mali. Prioritizing people living with diabetes, we strive to create a solution that will ensure insulin and related health products are accessible at the same time and in the same place. Access to insulin alone is not enough. People living with diabetes should be able to safely administer insulin which includes linking clinical decisions to self-care, both informed by blood glucose measures to prevent acute and chronic diabetes complications leading to early death,” said Helen McGuire, PATH’s Global NCD Director.
This project will be conducted in partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust, ministries of health in Tanzania, Mozambique, and Mali, people living with diabetes, health care providers, and other key health system stakeholders such as the Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines and Products and Life for a Child.
“As we work to create a sustainable, global movement that supports people living with type 1 diabetes to thrive, regardless of location, PATH is an ideal partner,” said Estefania Palomino, Program Officer for Helmsley’s Type 1 Diabetes Program. “It is unacceptable that insulin and other lifesaving products necessary to maintain safe levels of blood glucose are unaffordable or inconsistently available in many countries. The innovative Diabetes CarePak project has the potential to drastically reduce or eliminate this disparity for many individuals in need.”
PATH is a global nonprofit dedicated to achieving health equity. With more than 40 years of experience forging multisector partnerships, and with expertise in science, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales up innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing health challenges.
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is one of the largest private foundation funders of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments, and improving care and access in the U.S and Low- and Middle- Income Countries. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.