Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

Document Type



Sub-Saharan Africa is faced with a significant and increasing burden of non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (diabetes). In Senegal, the prevalence of diabetes has been documented to be as high as 8.1% in urban-dwelling Senegalese and is fast approaching the United States prevalence of approximately nine percent; however, insufficient resources are available for prevention efforts and disease management. As a result, many cases remain undiagnosed, leading to an increased likelihood of diabetes complications and mortality. Many of these cases remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed only after complications have developed, such as the need for amputation, kidney failure, or loss of vision, which could be potentially reduced through diabetes self-management support. In addition, factors such as limited access to adequate facilities for screening and treatment lead to a disproportionate burden of diabetes related morbidity and mortality in this context. While early detection is a necessity, ethical and logistical considerations should be explored in order to inform and deliver culturally grounded, sustainable, and accessible diabetes screening. We discuss the use of community-based health fairs for diabetes screening and present a case study of a free screening program used in Senegal, West Africa.