News Feature | April 1, 2014

Novo Nordisk Launches ‘Cities Changing Diabetes' Initiative

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Novo Nordisk has announced the launch of ‘Cities Changing Diabetes,’ an ambitious new partnership program formed to fight the challenge of urban diabetes. The initiative will be launched first in Mexico City with other cities to follow in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Dr. Armando Ahued Ortega, the Minister of Health of Mexico City, said, “We have implemented large-scale initiatives to fight overweight, obesity and diabetes and we are starting to see the results. However, diabetes continues to constitute a heavy burden for the city’s health services. I look forward to seeing the results from the research phase initiated today, as they will provide a solid foundation for developing an integrated response to tackle this public health emergency. I am very proud of Mexico City taking the global lead to fight urban diabetes.”

More people live in cities today than in rural areas, a fact mirrored by the prevalence of one of the world’s most challenging health problems, diabetes. Two out of three people with diabetes today live in cities. Those who move to urban areas are more likely to develop diabetes than those in rural areas. By 2030, approximately more than half a billion people will be afflicted with the disease.

Lars Rebien Sørensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk, said, “The global diabetes epidemic is an emergency in slow motion. While there are many factors fueling the growth trajectory of diabetes, the most striking contributor is urbanization and the growth of cities. The ‘Cities Changing Diabetes’ program is our call to arms for people around the world to work together to tackle this for the long-term.”

The program aims to map the urban health challenge of diabetes, share solutions, and implement them in major cities around the world. CCD will be developed in collaboration with the University College London (UCL) and supported by Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark. The initiative will also be supported by local partners including healthcare professionals, community leaders, and city authorities, among others.