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Novo Nordisk Joins Business Call to Action with Diabetes Awareness Campaign in Kenya

Aim to increase diabetes awareness "“ reaching 1.5 million people in Kenya

Published 09-22-15

Submitted by Business Call to Action (BCtA)

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is pleased to announce that Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care, has joined BCtA with an initiative to improve access to safe and affordable diabetes care for the working poor people in Kenya. The company aims to reach 1.5 million people with a grassroots awareness campaign involving community leaders, healthcare workers and peer educators on diabetes risk factors, the importance of early detection and proper treatment of the disease. 

Novo Nordisk’s awareness campaign builds on the company’s growing business in Kenya, including its successful effort to limit price mark-ups of insulin products. In 2013, a vial of insulin cost up to KES 1,800 (US$17) – today, that cost has been reduced to a more affordable KES 500 (US$5) through supply chain optimisation. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that approximately 750,000 people are living with diabetes in Kenya; 73 percent of them are undiagnosed.

“About one third of the world’s population lacks regular access to essential healthcare like insulin. This is a particularly serious issue in low- and middle-income countries, which are home to 80 percent of people living with diabetes today,” says Charlotte Ersbøll, corporate vice president, Novo Nordisk. “At Novo Nordisk, we apply Triple Bottom Line principles to ensure accountability for our social and environmental impact as well as financial performance. We are pleased that our inclusive business model has been recognized by the Business Call to Action and we look forward to engaging with the organization and its members to strengthen our work”.

The Novo Nordisk’s Base of the Pyramid project in Kenya is a public-private partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the Kenyan county governments, the faith-based organizations Christian Health Association of Kenya and the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. In the awareness campaign, the company is also partnering with the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, which has extensive experience in health screening and diabetes-awareness activities. 

The project targets the working poor around the world who have difficulty accessing health services. The aim of the Base of the Pyramid project is to develop scalable, sustainable and profitable solutions that increase access to diabetes care for people in low- and middle-income countries worldwide.

“Novo Nordisk’s diabetes efforts in Kenya exemplify how inclusive business has furthered Millennium Development Goal 6 [combat disease] and 8 [develop a global partnership for development], and how that work can flow seamlessly into the soon-to-be-ratified Sustainable Development Goals [3 – ensuring healthy lives and 17 – strengthening the global partnership],” said Suba Sivakumaran, BCtA Programme Manager. “BCtA is pleased to welcome Novo Nordisk as a member of BCtA and to follow the impact of its business model on health in Kenyan communities.” 

Novo Nordisk is also running Base of the Pyramid projects in Nigeria, Ghana and India and is currently working on scaling up the project to other African countries. 

For more information:

BCtA: Jeanne Finestone at jeanne.finestone@undp.org

Novo Nordisk: Charlotte Zarp-Andersson at czpa@novonordisk.com 

About Business Call to action (BCtA): The Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging and supporting companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact.  

The Business Call to Action is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, and the Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative. 

About Novo Nordisk:  

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat other serious chronic conditions: haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 39,700 people in 75 countries and markets its products in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.com , Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube

Business Call to Action (BCtA) logo

Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Business Call to Action is a global joint advocacy platform that works to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging and supporting companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. It is hosted by the United Nations Development Programme and funded by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UK Department for International Development (DFID). To date, 230 companies from around the world have signed on to commit to contribute to the SDGs, from large multinational companies to national and small- and medium-enterprises in 70 countries.

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