Historically thought of as "diseases of affluence", non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and diabetes now affect many people in low-and middle-income countries, with four-fifths of deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries. Incidence is increasing globally and is now the primary cause of death and disability worldwide. Older people living in low-and middle-income countries are especially at risk of developing an NCD.



A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that in managing NCDs, significant gaps remain in health services, technologies and access to medicines. This gives rise to avoidable complications and suffering. Although humanitarian organisations provide healthcare in many areas, often this fails to meet health needs relating to NCDs. In order to realise the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal’s target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by a third, there will need to be major progress in the coming decade.

IHP is actively working to improve people’s access to treatments for non-communicable diseases. In 2019, nearly half of the medicines we sent out (45%) were medicines to help people with an NCD.


Sanya, Lebanon  

In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 15% of those living in Lebanon have diabetes.

Sanya is a 60-year-old Syrian refugee who lives in a camp with her ill husband and their children. Sanya says: “I don’t know what would happen to me if I had to stop taking my medication… if it wasn’t for [medicine] donors, my life would be so different”. 

In the Syrian war, Sanya’s house in Aleppo was bombed and her son was killed. She has four other children, who cannot find work in the camp. Sanya was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009 and needs to manage her condition. This requires two packs of medication each month. Sanya can’t afford to buy these but thanks to IHP, she can get a free supply of the medicine she needs (metformin). "Your kindness is amazing,” she told our donors. “You have helped me to live a healthier and better life.”

With your support, we can continue to help people living with diabetes, like Sanya, get access to the medication they need 



Baraka, Tanzania

Every day, 10 children in Tanzania will develop cancer

When four-year-old Baraka started complaining of pain in his mouth, his mother saw that his gums were inflamed. She took him to a health centre near their home, in Kihaba, for treatment. Health workers said they could treat the tooth, but needed to wait until the inflammation went down.

“But the inflammation didn’t go down,” Baraka’s father explained. When local treatment options failed to ease pain and swelling, Baraka was referred to Muhimbili Hospital in the capital, Dar es Salaam. There, the swelling in his mouth grew, and he grew weaker each day. Soon, health workers realised Baraka didn’t have a problem with his tooth: he had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive but treatable childhood cancer. He was transferred to a  paediatric oncology ward run by our partner, TLM, and began chemotherapy treatment immediately, using medicines donated by IHP. For the next six weeks, Baraka and his father lived in the ward. Scans then showed the tumour had gone, and he was able to leave hospital. Baraka returned home expecting to make a full recovery.

With your support, we will be there for children like Baraka, supplying the treatments to help them survive cancer. 



Sami, West Bank 

In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, nearly four in ten deaths arise from cardiovascular disease.

Sami used to work as a policeman but health issues, including a heart condition, forced him to leave his job. “I was experiencing some health issues including shortness of breath,” Sami explained. ”I had a chest X-ray and they discovered that I had cardiac problems.” Sami was initially prescribed metformin for his condition, but struggled with side effects, having trouble sleeping and needing to urinate frequently. “I felt tired and weak. I couldn’t function properly in the day,” he recalls.

To undergo heart tests, Sami was sent to the Hebron Charitable Medical Clinic, which IHP supplies with medicines. There, he was prescribed an alternative treatment called Trajenta – a switch that made all the difference to Sami. “When the doctor first switched me to Trajenta, I couldn’t believe how this medicine changed my life. I used to have headaches all the time [and] no energy. Now I am perfectly well. I don’t feel sick, tired and irritable any more. It has changed everything for me. I have four children, and now that my health is not limiting me, I spend much more time with them.”




Please join with us as we work to help people suffering from NCDs to continue with their treatment regimes.

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