Rising to the challenge of NCDs financing in Africa: key focus at ICPPA 2024

24 April 2024

Global experts are meeting for the first International Conference on PEN-Plus in Africa (ICPPA) 2024 this week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The event, hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Africa from 23 – 25 April 2024, addresses the theme of “Prioritising Person-Centered Approach to Chronic and Severe NCDs: Type 1 Diabetes, Sickle Cell Disease, and Childhood Heart Diseases“. Through this conference, the WHO Regional Office for Africa aims to raise awareness, educate and encourage action to prioritise person-centred approaches and secure adequate financing for chronic and severe NCDs in the region.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is represented by our President, Prof. Akhtar Hussain, who will chair the plenary “Rising to the Challenge of NCDs Financing in Africa” on 25 April. The session will discuss the current state of NCD financing in Africa, marked by insufficient funds and resources, and the challenges African nations face in securing funds. These challenges include competing health priorities, limited healthcare budgets and the need for sustainable financing models. A panel discussion will examine the causes of NCDs, such as rapid urbanisation, dietary changes, lack of health insurance, political instability, and workable solutions to reduce their prevalence.

Diabetes is now among the top ten causes of global deaths and one of the most common NCDs. The condition is also a leading cause of NCDs such as cardiovascular and kidney diseases, the top two diabetes-related complications. The vast majority of the 537 million people estimated to be living with diabetes are found in low and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), with the Africa region expected to register the most significant increase in the number of people living with diabetes by 2045.

The need for a skilled diabetes workforce is, therefore, particularly urgent in these countries. The IDF School of Diabetes provides diabetes education for healthcare professionals, including targeted capacity-building programmes in Africa. By equipping healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and expertise, IDF aims to improve care and outcomes for people with diabetes in the region.

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