Lilly Launches Diabetes-Focused NCD Program in South Africa

NCD logo.PNG

I’m writing from Johannesburg where today we officially launched the South African arm of the Lilly NCD Partnership. Through our partnership with Project HOPE and the Donald Woods Foundation we are working to find new approaches to managing diabetes in a country that over the next 20 years is expected to experience the highest growth rate of diabetes in the world.

Leading up to the launch, we had the opportunity – the honor – to see how the partnership is already coming to life through the amazing work and dedication of our partners. Together we are trying new approaches to help improve the health and lives of some of the most vulnerable people in South Africa.

Ultimately, the goal of the Lilly NCD Partnership is to find new, cost-effective solutions that can be replicated and scaled up by governments around the world. Our initial focus is on diabetes in disadvantaged communities in Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa.

Thumbnail image for IMG_4533.PNGFirst we toured the new HOPE Center in Johannesburg that will serve the impoverished communities of Zandspruit and Cosmo City. Here, we’re taking a multi-pronged approach to diabetes and hypertension consisting of community outreach and support, preventative screening, and a new medical clinic providing state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment services. The Center is a ray of hope in the midst of ramshackle houses and desperate living conditions.

Next we headed deep into the Eastern Cape of South Africa to see how the Donald Woods Foundation (DWF) is leveraging its vast experience in fighting HIV/AIDS to fight NCDs. As we saw personally, people there are scattered across a vast, remote and beautiful yet unforgiving landscape, typically living in huts with no access to clean water or electricity, and who must walk miles upon miles to reach even the most basic health-care services. These communities are Ground Zero in the fight against HIV-Aids.


Through our partnership, DWF is launching a novel approach to screen hundreds of thousands of people living in the Mbashe and King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) districts. The program will integrate DWF’s ongoing efforts to provide primary health care for every person in every hut, with diabetes diagnosis and treatment as a priority. Along with our visit to clinics and a local hospital, we had the opportunity to go to the hut of an elderly man with diabetes and speak with him about his condition and how he walks 45 minutes each way to the clinic to get care and medicine.

Thumbnail image for IMG_4653.PNG

We then returned to Johannesburg to officially launch the Lilly NCD Partnership at today’s press conference.

Our visits made clear that the program is already well underway and that we, without question, picked the right partners. I am blow away by what the people from Project HOPE and DWF are already accomplishing – and what we’ll do together over the next four years of our partnership.

At Lilly, our strategy is to improve outcomes for individual patients. This week, I’ve had the opportunity to gain an even better understanding of what that strategy means and how we are going about doing it, even for people who can’t afford our medicines. It makes me proud beyond words.

Thumbnail image for IMG_4763.PNG


Hello, Siphokazi, and thank you for contacting us. We do not have a way for people outside our company to participate in this NCD program. Depending on what country you are in, you may be able to work with a local diabetes association or NCD Alliance chapter. Please see more about the NCD Alliance here: We wish you the very best, and thanks again for reaching out to us.
hi My name is siphokazi madubedube. Im a 25 year old lady who basically grew up surrounded by close family member's who had diabetes. My father had diabetes for over 20 years and passed on in 2008 over the battle and my sister ,who was my best friend, had diabetes for 11 years and passed on in 2011 over the battle too. I basically educated myself with enough information to help them get through it, basically im well informed about diabetes. That is why I want to take part in any form of out reach programme and educate people about this chronic disease that they take lightly . and me taking part in such programmes , i believe, it will help me get through the pain of the loss of my family members. i would love to here from you guys and help where i can . thanking you in advace.