Advancing Healthcare Access: ScreenHer initiative in Pakistan close to reaching milestone of 20,000 diabetes screenings in 70 clinics

▴ Roche Diabetes Care
A collaboration between Roche Diabetes Care and social enterprise Greenstar Social Marketing, ScreenHer seeks to improve women’s access to diabetes care

KARACHI, PAKISTAN - Media Outreach Newswire - 26 February 2024 - Roche Diabetes Care Pakistan (Roche) and social enterprise Greenstar Social Marketing (Guarantee) Limited (Greenstar) are pleased to announce a significant milestone for the ScreenHer initiative, which enables women in the rural and peri-urban areas to access diabetes risk assessment, education, and testing that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Across 70 clinics in six major cities, nearly 20,000 screenings have been conducted.

Pakistan is reported to be among the top three countries with the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes in the world as of 2021[1]. In Pakistan, 1 in 4 or approximately 33 million adults have this life-threatening chronic condition[2]. More importantly, the majority of the diabetes population are undiagnosed and 400,000 people have lost their lives to diabetes complications in 2021 alone[3]. Women in particular, are more vulnerable due to various socioeconomic reasons that limit their knowledge and access to healthcare services. More than half of women in APAC have little to no knowledge of diagnostic methods[4], resulting in lower engagement and eventually lower screening rates.

The ScreenHer initiative is a partnership between Roche and Greenstar that combines a wide-reaching network for Greenstar clinics and Roche's knowledge and expertise to reach more than one million women over a period of three years. Under ScreenHer, clinics or diabetes wellbeing centres provide end-to-end screening, diagnosis, and diabetes management for women living in the rural and peri-urban areas of Pakistan. Roche also supports the training of Greenstar employees at their clinics in relation to diabetes management, contributing to efforts to build a skilled healthcare workforce that serves the community.

Dr. Syed Azizur Rab said, "Access to quality healthcare is still a challenge in many parts of Pakistan, especially for women. Due to various reasons and cultural norms, women find it even more challenging to access the necessary healthcare services for diabetes screening and obtain support in their diabetes management journey. This results in poor outcomes for women living with diabetes or who have yet to be screened for diagnosis."

"Reaching this milestone is a testament to the collective efforts of our dedicated team, partners, and the communities we serve. We are committed to extending healthcare and diabetes management service to underserved populations in Pakistan, one screening at a time, at Sabz Sitara clinic on National level" added Dr. Rab.

Pedro Goncalves, Global Head of Commercial Organisation, Roche Diabetes Care, said, "Roche is committed to fighting the global diabetes epidemic by collaborating with like-minded partners in Pakistan and other low- and middle-income countries. Thousands of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes every year in Pakistan, where the prevalence rate can range from 17%[5] to 36.8%[6], with many resulting in maternal and foetal complications. Through ScreenHer, we are working to close the gap for inequities in women's health by enabling a holistic, patient-centric approach that empowers women living with diabetes in Pakistan to experience true relief."

By 2026, the number of clinics under ScreenHer will more than double to reach 250. The partnership between Roche and Greenstar will also see crucial local evidence generated, which can be used to inform future policies and interventions for diabetes management.

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