In a continued commitment to help reduce the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the Medtronic Foundation is making a $435,000 grant to Partners in Health (PIH) to work with the Rwandan Ministry of Health to establish a team of NCD experts that will assist low-income countries in preparing National NCD Plans by 2013, a goal set by the United Nations following the 2011 High-Level Meeting on NCDs.
The grant to Partners in Health will create a program within the Rwandan Ministry of Health to provide planning assistance to six low-income counties to improve access to NCD care. In the first year, the team will work with two low-income African countries with plans to add four more countries in the second year, including two non-African countries.
The effort will build on a successful model of NCD care integration developed by the Rwandan Ministry of Health together with PIH and other partners. Rwanda is a leader in health sector planning, having developed a number of novel initiatives, including a community-based mutual health insurance program, universal access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS, performance-based financing, and eHealth. These efforts have made Rwanda the only country in Africa on track to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, and an experienced leader among other low- to middle-income countries.