Diabetes mission launches in Mexico

A new collaborative scheme to tackle urban diabetes is launched in Mexico ahead of a global roll-out.

Novo Nordisk and University College London (UCL), joint developers of the new ‘Cities Changing Diabetes’ programme, have picked Mexico as the inaugural site of their diabetes project ahead of an international roll-out.

“The global diabetes epidemic is an emergency in slow motion,” said Novo Nordisk chief executive officer Lars Rebien Sørensen. “While there are many factors fuelling the trajectory of diabetes, the most striking contributor is urbanisation and the growth of cities.”

The new collaborative programme, which has been supported by the Steno Diabetes Centre in Denmark, serves as a “call to arms” to tackle the problem “in the long-term”. It involves a team of researchers gathering evidence on the city in regards to diabetes before working with local authorities and health bodies to develop action plans.

Mexico City will be the first city to join the programme, where “diabetes continues to constitute a heavy burden for the city’s health services,” explained the city’s health minister Armando Arhued Ortega.

“I look forward to seeing the results from the research phase, as they will provide a solid foundation for developing an integrated response to tackle this public health emergency.”

While researchers will now spend the rest of 2014 working in Mexico, UCL and Novo Nordisk have confirmed that the programme will also be implemented in North America, Europe and Asia.