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Innovative practice

New approach to address chronic care in crisis situations

Company:

Novo Nordisk

What:

The Partnering for Change initiative addresses an unmet need for chronic care for people in crises, with partners appropriate for humanitarian settings.

Region:

Global

Aim:

To address an unmet need for chronic care for people in humanitarian settings.

Context:

In crisis situations, the focus is often on acute health threats, such as infectious disease or injury. In such circumstances non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can be less of a priority, and may be left untreated.

Novo Nordisk is one of the central partners in a new initiative to address an unmet need for chronic care for people in humanitarian settings. In crisis situations, the focus is often on acute health threats, such as infectious disease or injury. In such circumstances non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can be less of a priority, and may be left untreated. Early in 2018, Novo Nordisk and its partners, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Danish Red Cross (DRC) and others, launched an initiative to address this.

Novo Nordisk's Partnering for Change offers care for conditions often neglected in crisis settings. ©ICRC: Thomas Glass

The main aims of Partnering for Change are to ensure an efficient supply of low-cost human insulin and to increase capacity for primary health care in humanitarian settings. Novo Nordisk will provide human insulin to its humanitarian partner organisations at a low cost, ensuring access for diabetics in crisis situations. It will also support partners’ health programmes, helping to improve NCD prevention and care.

Specifically, at a primary healthcare level in humanitarian settings, partners will test different models of providing basic care and treatment to patients with hypertension or diabetes. They will be starting with two or three field projects and will draw lessons from these initial projects in order to find the most sustainable solutions to providing chronic care.

The initiative’s focus on chronic care for NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension in humanitarian settings is innovative. The Index knows of no other capacity building approach that targets healthcare capacity in humanitarian crises.  Partnering for Change meets all good practice standards. It addresses an unmet need, with partners appropriate for humanitarian settings. It aims to identify a sustainable solution for care in these settings, with activities guided by clear objectives.

The partners are developing governance structures, using input from an external party to ensure a solid framework. Novo Nordisk is also considering how to mitigate any potential conflicts of interest from its participation. One way in which it is doing this is by creating separate agreements with the partners for the provision of insulin and another for its engagement in the capacity building projects. Plans are also being made to measure the initiative’s impact. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been selected as the external, academic partner, conducting needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation, and assessing impact. The partners will share publicly the needs assessments, preliminary findings and a final evaluation of the initiative.


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