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Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) Promises $6 Million for India Diabetes, Heart Disease Research  
9/24/2012 8:24:49 AM

MINNEAPOLIS - September 21, 2012 - One year after the historic United Nations High Level Meeting on Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), Medtronic today announced a five-year, $6 million (U.S.) philanthropic commitment in India to accelerate programs specifically designed to expand access to quality care and management of diabetes and heart disease, two of the world's leading killers.

"Coming out of the U.N. High Level Meeting, it's been our pledge to help drive action at the country level, and then share those results globally," said Dr. Jacob Gayle, executive director of the Medtronic Foundation and vice president, Medtronic Community Affairs. "By focusing on diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we hope to strengthen overall health systems in order to expand access in underserved communities. Given both the need and opportunity in India, it was clear that we needed to ramp up our support to help those already working to improve care."

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is currently the leading cause of death in urban and rural India, killing three million people each year. India is also home to more than 60 million diabetics - more than any other country.

"Chronic diseases have reached epidemic proportions in India," said Prof. K. Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India, who spoke with Dr. Gayle at a Sept. 21 press briefing. "Less than half of the people living with these diseases are diagnosed and receiving treatment. A concerted effort toward addressing this burden of NCDs requires strengthening the health system through an innovative, multi-sectoral approach."

On Sept. 20, the Medtronic Foundation convened a group of community health experts, non-profits, academia and the private sector in New Delhi.

Among those attending were several Medtronic Foundation grantees in India including Dr. D. Prabhakaran from the Centre for Chronic Disease Control in New Delhi and Dr. Nikhil Tandon from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who recently launched a pilot program funded by the Medtronic Foundation in Himachal Pradesh using high-tech healthcare tools and community health worker training to better screen, diagnose and treat diabetes and CVD patients.

Using a "continuum of care" framework to guide the conversation, participants identified barriers and gaps within the current health system in order to collectively explore solutions to strengthen health systems.

A full report on the Medtronic Foundation's India grantmaking is available upon request.

Since 2010, the Medtronic Foundation has committed more than $7.5 million (U.S.) in NCD-related grants, including $1.2 million (U.S.) to NCD-related efforts in India. Moving forward, the Foundation will continue to increase global funding to expand access to NCD care for underserved communities, specifically focusing on efforts to recruit, train and equip frontline health workers, and to help reinforce patient-centered approaches to health promotion.

With NCDs accounting for more than 60 percent of all deaths worldwide, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called upon the world's businesses to help address NCDs, which are expected to increase by 50 percent in developing countries by 2030. NCDs account for roughly 75 percent of healthcare costs in both advanced and developing economies, according to the World Economic Forum.

About the Medtronic Foundation

The Medtronic Foundation is committed to improving the lives of people around the world living with chronic disease, with a majority of grant making thoughtfully aligned with Medtronic's commitment to expand access to quality healthcare among underserved populations. In addition, grants support heath initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give. www.medtronicfoundation.org

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people worldwide.