FIND and the Helmsley Charitable Trust partner to improve access to continuous glucose self-monitoring devices in Kenya and South Africa

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  • The ACCEDE project aims to support the introduction of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for people living with diabetes in Kenya and South Africa
  • ACCEDE will improve affordability and ensure training on the use of CGMs
  • The project will collect clinical and health economic data to build the case for widespread use of CGMs in low- and middle-income countries

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND & NEW YORK, USA – 19 December 2022. FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced today that FIND has been awarded a 3-year grant of US$3.5 million by Helmsley to improve access to continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGMs) for effective diabetes management in Kenya and South Africa. The project, dubbed ACCEDE (ACcess to CGMs for Equity in DiabEtes management), comprises interventions to boost affordability of CGMs, to build capacity in diabetes management, and to generate supporting evidence for the use of CGMs across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Latest data from the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas indicate that 537 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the majority are living in LMICs. Everybody living with type 1 diabetes (8.7 million people) and 7–15% of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin. For these people, monitoring the level of glucose in their blood several times a day is critical to enable them to use insulin safely and control their blood glucose levels. Multiple barriers impede regular glucose self-testing, such as the challenges of frequent finger-pricking, technical skill, and cost. One in three people with diabetes in LMICs has never had their blood glucose measured at all.

In high-income countries, CGMs have transformed the ability of people with diabetes and their healthcare providers to manage the condition. Continuous availability of glucose data throughout day and night allows better adjustment of therapy and behaviour, helps to avoid episodes of hypoglycaemia, and improves blood glucose levels – all factors known to improve long-term outcomes for people with diabetes.

The availability of CGMs in LMICs is extremely limited, and largely restricted to the private sector, in which people generally pay out of pocket for CGM devices. The main reasons underlying the lack of availability are unaffordable prices, a scarcity of third-party payers, and a lack of awareness among people with diabetes and healthcare providers of how CGM usage can improve diabetes management.

Through the ACCEDE project, FIND will work to address this disparity, with partners including CGM manufacturers whose devices have been through stringent regulatory approval, and who have a willingness to offer their CGMs at accessible prices in both the public and private sectors worldwide. Alongside these pricing interventions, the project will build capacity through dedicated training on the effective use of CGMs for healthcare providers and people living with diabetes. Finally, by generating the clinical and health economic evidence that stakeholders in Kenya, South Africa, and other LMICs need to build investment cases for the sustainable financing of CGMs, the project will also lay the foundations for long-term expanded access to CGMs everywhere that health resources are limited but diabetes runs rampant.

Beatrice Vetter, Deputy Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases Programme at FIND, said: “While CGMs are now the standard of care in high-income countries for people living with diabetes on insulin, these life-changing devices remain out of reach for millions of people in LMICs who need them equally urgently. We are pleased to partner with the Helmsley Charitable Trust on this comprehensive package of measures that will help more people living with diabetes to take control of their condition.”

“Providing access to 21st century care for management of type 1 diabetes, no matter where someone lives, is a priority for Helmsley,” said James Reid, a programme officer with the Type 1 Diabetes Program. “FIND’s efforts will improve lives for people living with type 1 diabetes in Kenya and South Africa while paving the path for expanded use elsewhere.”

 

About FIND

FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, seeks to ensure equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world. We connect countries and communities, funders, decision-makers, healthcare providers and developers to spur diagnostic innovation and make testing an integral part of sustainable, resilient health systems. We are co-convener of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator diagnostics pillar, and a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2003, we have regional hubs in Kenya, India, South Africa and Viet Nam. With partners across the public and private sectors, we are working to make sure that everyone who needs a test can get one. For more information, please visit www.finddx.org

 

About the Leona M. and Harry B. 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 $3.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit www.helmsleytrust.org

 

Media contacts 

Sarah-Jane Loveday, Director, Communications, FIND
M: +41 79 431 62 44
media@finddx.org

Carey Meyers, Director, Communications, Helmsley Charitable Trust
+1 347 409 3588
cmeyers@helmsleytrust.org