Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (heart attack/stroke), cancer and diabetes – are the leading causes of death globally. According to reports by the World Health Organization, up to 80% of these “premature” deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, the greatest increases of NCDs over the next two decades will be in regions of Africa and South-East Asia.

Although diabetes mellitus has already reached epidemic dimension worldwide, the highest increase of affected patients is expected in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Diabetes itself is not only a major risk for cardiovascular disease but also increases the risk for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Importantly, 2 out of 3 patients are not aware that they have diabetes and are therefore not appropriately treated.

Thanks to Dr. Oliver Tschopp from the Department of Endocrinology at the University Hospital in Zurich our collaboration will establish a diabetes screening program at the IDI. In a first step, high risk patients with HIV/TB co-infection as well as HIV-infected pregnant women will be screened systematically.