Program Profile
Last updated from Global Health Progress: 02 Sept 2020

Capacity Advancement Program (CAP)

The majority of the 422 million people living with diabetes worldwide are aged between 40 and 59, and 80% of them live in low- and middle-income countries. The number of people with diabetes is expected to increase by 55% by 2035; in Africa by 109% by 2035. The proportion of cases of diabetes (20-79 years) that remain undiagnosed in Africa is 62%. According to IDF 2015 estimates, about 75% of the people with diabetes live in LMICs. People with type 2 diabetes can remain undiagnosed for many years, unaware of the long-term damage being caused by the disease. Poorly managed diabetes leads to serious complications and early death; diabetes caused 5.0 million deaths in 2015. Diabetes is a huge and growing problem and the costs to society are high and escalating. IDF 2015 Atlas suggests that the estimated number of people with diabetes in the Africa Region is between 9.5 million and 29.3 million. The report also highlights that three quarters of these are estimated to be undiagnosed, constituting the highest undiagnosed figure among other IDF regions. Africa accounts for less than 1% of global health expenditure on diabetes. Moreover, this region faces further challenges resulting from the limited number of trained health workers who can help patients with prevention, diagnosis and care.

Merck’s Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) is a collaboration with Ministries of Health, universities, and local associations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The aim of the program is to expand professional capacity in the areas of research and development, medical education, and community awareness of diabetes, cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCD). By educating and training medical students and healthcare providers from the start, the program strengthens local capacities and enhances clinical management processes. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness for these health conditions as well as to support healthcare systems with the measures to prevent, diagnose, and manage cancer, diabetes, and other NCDs effectively.

Merck has engaged with a wide range of relevant local stakeholders in order to inform the approach to program initiatives, which includes identifying learning and capacity gaps, tailoring the learning materials to suit the local environment, implementing and following programs, and managing performance and sustainability.The program has helped to develop structured, country-specifc and partnership-based program initiatives that are aligned with countries’ national strategies.

Activities under CAP include the following:

Training of healthcare providers, medical students, new graduates and community health workers

Community awareness campaigns

Patient screening through medical camps

Development of a diabetes awareness SMS campaign

The data for this program has been reviewed by both the companies and the Access Observatory team.