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Pilot programme to expand access to care for NCDs

A pilot programme that aims to increase access to care for non-communicable disease (NCDs) in South Africa will be introduced to the Kwamakhutha Community in eThekwini District and focus on integrating screening, treatment and prevention of diabetes and hypertension within established primary and community care systems.
© Andriy Popov
Integrating prevention and treatment of NCDs as a crucial component of strengthening health systems. Known as NCD Link, the programme requires close public and private cooperation between community-based care organisations, clinical specialists, and national, provincial and district department of health teams in order to make this effort integrative, sustainable, and oriented toward improvement in outcomes and care quality.

“The NCD Link is an innovative and much needed multi-year project aimed at integrating diabetes and hypertension care with existing TB and HIV programmes for the people of eThekwini,” says Belinda Bhoodoo, director of corporate affairs and market access of Lilly South Africa, one of the partners in the initiative. “NCDs are a major contributor to poverty and a barrier to social and economic development in this region and across the country."

Lilly will partner with Advance Access and Delivery]], together its local partner, Interactive Research and Development South Africa (IRD SA) to implement the programme, while the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) will conduct operational research and independent evaluation for the programme.

Developing relevant responses

“Advance Access & Delivery and local partners will be working alongside the KwaZulu-Natal province and eThekwini District, developing locally relevant responses to national strategies concerning non-communicable disease like diabetes or hypertension and an infectious disease like TB,” said Thulani Mbatha, country director of IRD South Africa.

“The patient-centred model of care will be implemented through community-level active case finding, linkage to care, effective education and quality management of NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension and infectious diseases such as TB. The SAMRC will assist by independently monitoring and evaluating this intervention. The hope is that by closely working with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health and eThekwini District it will be possible to transfer the learnings from this project to other areas in the eThekwini District and KwaZulu-Natal province. By rigorously documenting, monitoring and evaluating the intervention we hope that the learnings of this project will be shared nationally.”

The pilot programme uses Lilly's global health framework, which includes studying key research questions, reporting what works and what doesn't, and then using the data to advocate for the scale up of the most effective solutions. The program will contribute to Lilly 30x30, the company's goal to create new access to quality health care for 30-million people in resource-limited communities every year by 2030.
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