Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, are the leading causes for mortality and morbidity worldwide. Their burden is increasing fastest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where 75% of NCD-related deaths occur. Emergency relief and humanitarian aid organisations have witnessed a significant increase of NCDs among refugees and internally displaced populations.
While in the past these populations were mostly affected by infectious diseases such as malaria or cholera, today many also require treatment for NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, cancers and respiratory diseases. For a person with diabetes, the lack of insulin availability can lead to life-threatening complications such as ketoacidosis, blindness, kidney failure or heart attack. Concerted action and coordination between actors is needed to ensure access to healthcare and ongoing treatment for these patients.
WHO (2015). Global Status Report on non-communicable diseases 2014. Geneva: World Health Organization.
WHO (2010). Guidelines for Drug Donations. Available at:
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/978924150198-9 (accessed 25/06/18).