Reason to smile for diabetic patients in Tanzania

Wednesday December 16 2020
Diabets pic
By Lilian Ndilwa

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanians battling diabetes will now be able to access insulin at a price that is five times lower than what they currently pay, thanks to a new agreement that was signed here yesterday. The Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a global biopharmaceutical company, Biocon, that is geared towards improving accessibility of insulin at affordable prices.

This project will enlist Tanzania as the first country on the continent to take part in the new mission called ‘Mission 10 cents’ where as diabetes medication will be sold at the cost of less than 10 US cents per day.

Biocon and CSSC project will be a game changer as the diabetes medication will benefit about a million people living with diabetes in Tanzania whereas Tanzania is among the top five countries for the highest rates of diabetes in Africa

Affordable access to insulin, which is a medication used to treat high blood glucose, will fill the gap in diabetes treatment in Tanzania and across Africa. “This is a good opportunity to improve management of diabetic patients for better patient outcomes in Tanzania especially the marginalised who could not afford high cost of medicines,” CSSC report stated. CSSC added that the programme is expected to start early next year and will include community-based health promotion, disease awareness campaigns, screening programmes, capacity building of health facilities and training of healthcare professionals.

Biocon had unveiled its ‘Mission 10 cents’ programme in 2019 with the aim to unlock universal access to recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin). Dr Christiane Hamacher, who is the Biocon Managing director explained in the report that the company aims at co-creating with CSSC a patient system that goes beyond transforming the lives diabetes patients.