A health worker speaks to clients waiting for services at a clinic in Rwanda
A health worker speaks to clients waiting for services at a clinic in Rwanda © 2017 Riccardo Gangale | USAID

New partnership to improve care for people living with NCDs in LMICs

08th February 2020

Today, the NCD Alliance and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced a new multi-year partnership that seeks to advance universal health coverage (UHC) and improve care for people living with chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including type 1 diabetes, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The partnership is driven by the NCD Alliance and Helmsley Charitable Trust’s shared missions of improving lives around the world and addressing inequities in access to care for people living with NCDs. NCDs cause an estimated 70% of all deaths globally and hit LMICs the hardest. As NCD incidence rises, health systems are ill-equipped to deal with the burden and for millions of people, access to affordable and quality care remains a distant reality. The result is that millions of people worldwide are pushed into extreme poverty every year by their healthcare needs – a trend that cannot continue.

As part of the effort to turn the tide, a new grant of over $3 million from the Helmsley Charitable Trust over three years, from 2020-2022, will support expanding the NCD Alliance’s work to strengthen health systems to better treat chronic NCDs and multi-morbidities, as well as putting people and affordability at the centre of the response.

At the global level, the NCD Alliance will leverage the global momentum supporting UHC, building on prior successes of increasing political leadership and action to grow people-centred treatment and care for NCDs.

At the national level, through the NCD Alliance Advocacy Institute, the grant will support efforts of national NCD alliances in Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mexico, as well as the regional Africa NCDs network, to spur local improvements, raise awareness and mobilise communities for stronger health systems for NCDs. The grant will also support the NCD Alliance’s Our Views, Our Voices initiative which seeks to promote the voices and meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs at all levels of the NCD response, from policy development, advocacy, healthcare design and delivery, and accountability.

Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, said “the NCD Alliance, over the last decade, has built up a track record in global advocacy for NCDs and has given a voice to people living with NCDs. Despite multiple commitments, progress on NCDs remains slow and uneven and many countries are not on track to meet the agreed targets for NCDs in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are excited about our partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to accelerate the translation of global commitments on NCDs to meaningful outcomes for people most affected.”

“Increasingly, governments are acting on the reality that to achieve the SDGs, including Universal Health Coverage, better, low-cost care and treatment for noncommunicable diseases are needed now. The Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to ensuring that severe, chronic conditions, like type 1 diabetes, are included in decisions and allocations to make that care a reality,” said Dr. Gina Agiostratidou, Director of Helmsley’s Type 1 Diabetes Program. “Access to live-saving, quality health care is a basic human right, regardless of where you live. Our support to the NCD Alliance affirms our deep belief that for progress to be made, patient voices need equal airtime as policy decisions are made. The Alliance is uniquely positioned to ensure such voices are heard loudly and clearly in countries, regions, and globally.”

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 $2.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is the one of the largest private foundation funders of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments, and improving care and access. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.