The Root Cause, Inc.

Half A Million Lives Global Diabetes Initiative


The chief aim of this initiative will be to bring our proven and scalable diabetes management program to half a million people globally by 2025.

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Diabetes kills more adults every year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—combined. Yet it rarely makes headlines.The complications of undetected and untreated diabetes are serious and cause huge human suffering and disability -- especially in underserved communities. They also have huge socioeconomic costs resulting from premature morbidity and mortality. But research shows diabetes is a highly manageable disease—if diagnosed early and appropriate treatment is provided. That’s where The Root Cause (TRC) helps.TRC is a Christian nonprofit established to educate, screen, and more effectively provide care for underserved populations dealing with diabetes. TRC’s grassroots model—based on the award-winning "Asheville Project"—aims at working with local officials to establish diabetes centers in local health facilities that provide better screening, improved care, create awareness, and establish community caregiver support groups. Having successfully proven our model in Dallas, India, and Kenya, we've made it our aim to bring this care to 500,000 people by 2025.

Problem Statement

The WHO estimates that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes globally nearly quadrupled between 1980 and 2014. The hardest hit communities are those which are classified as low or middle income. A 2010 study found that poverty was a stronger determinant of a diabetes diagnosis than obesity or lack of physical exercise.The rise and deadly impact of diabetes around the world can be attributed to three core challenges…First, there is a general lack of education about diabetes in underserved communities. From our experience managing diabetes among underserved populations, we've found that most people don't have even a basic grasp of the common risk factors of diabetes.Second, effective diabetes management requires early intervention and follow up care by health professionals. Many health workers in developing nations lack training in diabetes care, thus exposing diabetics to inadequate disease management. And even in the US, lack of education among the general population about the disease means most people are not getting tested until much of the damage has been done.And third, there is the challenge of ensuring adherence to dietary and medicinal protocols for people living with diabetes. In the developing world, lack of access to medication means people who are diagnosed often have no way of following the necessary treatment regimen. And in the US, social determinants such as economic stability and education make adherence to protocols a challenge.Any strategy to combat diabetes anywhere in the world must address these three challenges and the social determinants surrounding them.

Solution Overview

The Root Cause solution helps resolve the problem of the diabetes pandemic by bringing healthcare to the patient's backyard. We've found that one of the biggest social determinants that creates a barrier healthcare access is the time it takes to reach a medical facility. So by centering care on the patient in their own community, we largely remove that obstacle. Following the results of The Asheville Project [1], we can project that after individuals have faithfully adhered to the program for 5 years, we'll see on average...- An overall drop in blood sugar levels by at least 10%- A corresponding marked decrease in blood pressure- A decrease in LDL cholesterol levels in at least half of participants- A doubling in self-care activities such as blood sugar self testing and foot exams- A 50% reduction in sick days- An annual savings in health care costs in the thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of dollars per US patientParticipants who faithfully adhere to the program can expect a greater quality and quantity of life as a result of their lifestyle changes. This will we a wide impact on hundreds of thousands of lives around the globe.

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Project Funders

  • Raymond Harris Private Foundation 2017 - 2019
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation

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