The PEN-Plus Partnership: addressing severe chronic non-communicable diseases among the poorest billion

Gene Bukhman, Ana Mocumbi, Emily Wroe, Neil Gupta, Luwei Pearson, Raoul Bermejo, Jean Marie Dangou, Matshidiso Moeti

Click image to access commentary

PEN-Plus was designed to strengthen outpatient care for severe chronic NCDs at intermediate-level facilities such as district hospitals.PEN-Plus takes an equity-driven approach by first addressing severe conditions among the rural and urban poor. At the same time, PEN-Plus builds capacity to train, mentor, and supervise health workers at lower-level facilities, strengthening WHO PEN and chronic care decentralisation and integration for common NCDs.

In August, 2022, the 47 countries of WHO’s African Region approved a resolution and strategy to achieve high-levels of PEN-Plus coverage by 2030. 3 weeks later, a global PEN-Plus Partnership was launched as an initiative of the NCDI Poverty Network. This global partnership includes leading organisations focused on childhood heart disease, diabetes, and sickle cell disease working together with WHO and UNICEF to dramatically increase the number of the poorest children and young adults on high-quality treatment for these three conditions and other severe chronic NCDs by the end of the decade.