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Johannesburg Joins Novo Nordisk’s Cities Changing Diabetes Initiative

Published: 4/22/16
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How will this expansion help tackle urban diabetes worldwide?

Novo Nordisk recently announced that Johannesburg, South Africa will be joining their Cities Changing Diabetes Initiative. Johannesburg is the first African city to sign on to the program, which currently includes Mexico City, Copenhagen, Houston, Tianjin and Shanghai.

Cities Changing Diabetes is a major initiative to study the main social and cultural drivers of type 2 diabetes in urban settings. Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, including two-thirds of people with diabetes (more than 250 million people). Last year, the program reported its first major findings – identifying four major social risk factors for urban diabetes: financial constraints, resource constraints, geographical constraints, and time constraints. Learn more about the main findings here.

Johannesburg should benefit from joining this initiative. Diabetes rates have skyrocketed in South Africa, where an estimated 2 million people (about 9% of the population) live with diabetes. In 2015, 76% of deaths due to diabetes in Africa occurred in people below age 60. This move will hopefully serve as a jumping point for other sub-Saharan cities to address urban diabetes. -CA

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