Roche intensifies campaign in bid to curb rising cases of diabetes in Meru

Roche in collaboration with various organization has partnered with Meru County Government in a campaign to contain diabetes, a disease that affects millions of Kenyans.

About 5,300 children and adolescents are living with type 1 diabetes in Kenya, a report by Roche has revealed.

According to Roche the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Kenya is at 4.0% and 15.1%, respectively, for adults aged 20-79 with another report by International Diabetes Federation revealing that 821,500 adults in Kenya are suffering from diabetes.

Roche Diabetes Care through a collaboration with Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance Kenya (NCD Alliance Kenya), and Medtronic LABS, in partnership with the Meru County government has been screening and training resident on diabetes through an initiative dubbed the Mwanga Access Program in an aim to curb the surging disease.

According to the Roche over 18000 people have been screened for diabetes and over 200 individuals trained on diabetes management since the launch of the program in November 2022 with the organization aiming to reach 35,000 individuals by December 2024.

Out of the 18000 people screened, 1,475 patients have been enrolled for health care program, with 539 confirmed as diabetic.

Roche Diabetes Care Head of Global Commercial Organization Pedro Goncalves noted that the partnership with the Meru County will yield sustainable solutions that will address healthcare needs in the region.

“We are incredibly proud of the Mwanga Access Program which focuses on creating a holistic care community empowerment program to enable improved outcomes and continued support. We, along with our partners NCD Alliance Kenya and Medtronic Labs, are committed to supporting this initiative to improve access to diabetes care for people living with diabetes in Kenya.” Goncalves stated.

The firm further confirmed that 60 healthcare professionals have been trained on comprehensive diabetes care, 20 health records and information officers on data capturing and presentation, and 106 community health promoters (CHPs) on basic screening, patient enrollment, follow-up and referral to the link facilities.

Additionally, 22 people living with diabetes and hypertension were trained in advocacy and public participation skills and advocated for effective NCD prevention and control and increased NCD budgetary allocation at the County level.

“The Mwanga Access Program exemplifies an innovative public-private partnership designed to address the gaps in diabetes management in Meru County. The program’s success highlights the importance of early detection, accessible care, and ongoing support for persons living with diabetes. We commend the commitment of all stakeholders in making this program a success and look forward to further expanding its reach and impact.” Catherine Karekezi, Executive Director, Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance Kenya stated.

Mwanga Access Program utilizes a community-driven comprehensive approach, involving healthcare professionals trained in comprehensive diabetes management, and community health promoters (CHPs), who screen and enroll patients and connect them to linked healthcare facilities. According to Roche the program established support groups of persons living with diabetes and hypertension in the five linked facilities. Additionally support groups receive diabetes self-management education and are used for group counselling and self-care management education.

“The collaboration and dedication of all partners involved in the Mwanga Access Program have been instrumental in its success. The integration of digital infrastructure has enabled a robust enrollment and tracking of patients leading to the achievement of an impressive follow-up rate and glycemic control rate, demonstrating the program’s effectiveness in ensuring continuous patient engagement and improved health outcomes.” Eric Angula, Head of Business Development and Partnerships Lead Africa, Medtronic LABS noted in a statement.

Roche, a Switzerland founded firm is a one of the world’s largest biotech companies, as well as a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and a global supplier of transformative innovative solutions across major disease areas. The Company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world.

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