In 2011, Project HOPE and Eli Lilly partnered to establish the HOPE Centre. Located in Zandspruit in the outskirts of Johannesburg, the HOPE Centre is focused on educating local communities about chronic diseases - especially diabetes and hypertension, providing clinical services for the treatment and management of the diseases and support through peer group education.
There are about 15 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa living with diabetes and 81% of them do not know. Many South Africans lack access to medical care due to their overstretched health system. A recent shift in disease burden from HIV and TB to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, is placing many South Africans under a "double burden" of disease. Patients at clinics and hospitals have complications from diseases that if detected earlier and managed better could have been prevented.
The HOPE Centre is addressing the growing burden of chronic disease by focusing first on improving lifestyle behaviors that can prevent the onset of disease. Through the HOPE Centre, Project HOPE will provide over 13,000 South Africans with increased access to healthy foods, nutritional counseling, peer support groups, economic strengthening skills, health screenings and fitness opportunities.
By jointly developing a chronic disease clinic model that is replicable in underserved areas throughout the world, Project HOPE and Eli Lilly are improving the quality of life for those suffering from chronic disease worldwide. By providing access to primary and preventative health care services that are otherwise not available in poor communities, the HOPE Centre model can reverse the growing rate of chronic disease in a community and thereby alleviate an entire country's health care system.