Who are we ?

Santé Diabète is a Non-Governmental Organization founded in 2001 to respond to the lack of access to healthcare for people with diabetes in Africa and to the failure to take this health emergency into account by development actors at the global level.

Initially present in Mali, Santé Diabète then developed its actions in Burkina-Faso, the Union of the Comoros, as well as in France (headquarters of the association), with permanent teams in each country.

Our mission


With a team of 40 people and more than 200 local and international partners, Santé Diabète acts every day in countries to save lives through prevention and diabetes management programs that aim to improve the quality of life of people affected by this chronic disease.

Our NGO focuses its intervention on a global approach including all the areas necessary for the implementation of prevention and quality management of diabetes.



to reduce the human and economic burden of the progression of the disease

2. decentralization of care

to guarantee the geographical accessibility of the populations to quality care


to reduce the burden of complications from diabetes


to make it possible for populations to access diabetes care


5. integrated approach

including active participation of patients and their families by supporting patient associations, self-management and advocacy mechanisms

6. Research

to develop innovative approaches in the research / diabetes sector

Our approach was developed and is implemented in countries with institutional partners (national and local authorities, civil society actors, communities and people with diabetes).

This positioning in technical assistance to support the policies of prevention and management of diabetes implemented by the States guarantees that the interventions carried out by the NGO ensures long-term solutions.

Over more than two decades, Santé Diabète has developed highly specialized expertise in diabetes in Africa and developing countries, and more broadly on health and development issues. This expertise has enabled us to support numerous governments in the development of their policies to combat Non-Communicable Diseases and, more specifically, diabetes.

More broadly, it has also allowed our NGO to develop other expertises around these issues for governments, international organizations and the United Nations.

Our results in countries and the group of experts involved in our NGO have gradually made Santé Diabète a structure of reference at the international level for many international organizations (International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization, etc.), learned societies (Société Francophone of Diabetes…), research centers (Transnut University of Montreal…) and universities (University of Grenoble, University of Montreal, University of Geneva, Harvard University…).

Santé Diabète from 2020 to 2023

sensitized students
people at risk screened
trained health professionals
people in care (type 2 diabetes)
children with type 1 diabetes who had access to care for free

Strong values & a humanist approach

Nos valeurs se retrouvent avant tout au quotidien, sur le terrain, chaque jour, avec l'appui de nos partenaires et avec une approche que nous préférons qualifier d'humaniste que d'humanitaire (lire notre charte éthique).

We have made the choice of reasoned growth by using the strength of our networks, to stay as close as possible to the needs of the field, which allows us to maintain good control over our activities and to ensure their relevance, quality and efficiency.

Our organization also draws its legitimacy and strength from its anchoring in local dynamics. Through our interventions, our organization makes sure never to substitute itself to local stakeholders and to always seek capacity building and support towards the autonomy of local partners.

  • We are the first NGO specialized in the fight against diabetes in Africa
  • Our operational structure and our management are based in West Africa as close as possible to the field
  • We promote South-North, South-South and North-South collaboration
  • We are sustaining diabetes care by strengthening local health systems
  • We work directly with ministries, health departments, national, regional and local health care structures to build strong public policies
  • We contribute to the building of a strong civil society by supporting patient associations
  • Nous nous assurons de répondre aux problématiques liées au genre en interne, dans nos activités et avec nos partenaires à travers notre Stratégie Genre.
  • We work without any conflict of interest with the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry
  • We contribute to the fight against diabetes at the global level by being a member of various international action groups, such as the World Health Organization's Global Coordination Mechanism for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
  • We alert the world through international advocacy
  • We operate an international network for local solutions

Our ethical principles

As an NGO, Santé Diabète is guided by the fundamental principles that must guide humanitarian action, i.e. the principles ofhumanity, of neutrality, ofimpartiality and ofindependence. We are also committed to respecting ethical principles and maintaining complete independence from any political, economic or religious power.

Our action is also guided by the principles of care (or soin in French), therapeutic education and psychosocial support are just as important as clinical care.

Read our code of ethics (in French only)

Our gender strategy

Santé Diabète's gender strategy aims to a better consideration of gender issues, both for Santé Diabète as an organization and for field activities. This strategy takes shape through the creation of an environment that is conducive to gender issues, as well as through better integration of these issues in our programs and in the structuring of our response.

Our gender strategy is based on the various reference guidelines, such as those of the WHO and the EU, on gender and health, gender issues in humanitarian contexts, particularly violence, but also gender and work, and of course, gender and diabetes, including the various socio-economic factors linked to gender that have an impact on the prevention and management of diabetes. Some of the co-morbidities of diabetes, such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, are also taken into account.

This strategic document also provides a reminder of the extent to which gender is taken into account in official documents in the various countries where we operate, and offers a bibliography of what we consider to be particularly relevant in this field and in the development of our organization's strategy.

This document is intended for our teams, our partners, our beneficiaries, and all those who wish to better understand Santé Diabète's approach to gender, and the implementation of this strategy internally and in our programs. Read our gender strategy (in French only)

Our history

Two decades of action

2001 - Foundation of Santé Diabète

Born from a double emergency, the lack of access to care for people with diabetes in Africa and the lack of consideration of this problem by development actors, the NGO Santé Diabète was founded in 2001 by a group of diabetes, health and development specialists to improve the prevention and management of diabetes in Africa.

2003 - First actions in Mali

Stéphane Besançon, current CEO of the NGO, was one of the founding members of this organization, named at the time Santé Diabète Mali, named after the country where the first actions were carried out in the field in 2003.


Between 2001, date of creation of the NGO, and 2011, date of the High Level Summit on Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) during the General Assembly of the United Nations, the international context has evolved with an increasing consideration of the problem of NCDs.

In this context, the expertise and the network of partners developed by the NGO have made it an essential international partner in the interventions put in place to improve the prevention and management of diabetes in Africa.


In 2010, significant work was carried out within Santé Diabète to strengthen the actions carried out in Mali while preparing the development of projects outside the country. This extension has been requested by countries, such as Burkina Faso, who wanted to benefit from the methodologies developed over 10 years in Mali, but also because of its legitimacy and its network of partners. This extension also responded to the need to strengthen advocacy at the global level at a time when this health emergency was not yet sufficiently taken into account by the international community.

In 2011 Santé Diabète Mali becomes Santé Diabète and expands its mandate

In 2011, Santé Diabète Mali thus became Santé Diabète. A change of identity and starting point for a new broader mandate, both geographically but also in its missions and based on 4 strategic axes:

→ Develop interventions in new countries outside of Mali (Burkina Faso, Union of the Comoros, Benin, Guinea, etc.)

→ Offer cutting-edge expertise in the fields of diabetes but also more broadly in health and development, supported by a network of world-renowned experts

→ Provide French structures working with sub-Saharan migrants with skills acquired in West Africa

→ Strengthen advocacy actions with the populations and authorities in the countries of the North in order to improve knowledge of diabetes and its challenges in developing countries.


In 2011, this new mandate was translated into practice by the opening of a development education and international solidarity program in France, followed in 2012 by the creation of a delegation in Burkina-Faso as well as a delegation in 2013 in Senegal and finally in 2015 in the Union of the Comoros. The delegation in Senegal has been closed since 2018. The France headquarters, the delegations of Mali, Burkina Faso and the Comoros continue to develop.


Creation of a Santé Diabète delegation in Burkina Faso and change of the name of the NGO to: "Santé Diabète"


Creation of a Santé Diabète delegation in Senegal, active for 5 years. The delegation was closed in 2018.


Creation of a delegation in the Union of the Comoros and launch of a program to fight diabetes in the archipelago.
Mission "AFD diabetes prevention expertise” in French Polynesia


Launch of a 3-year “Convention Program”
Implementation of a program to integrate diabetes/HIV and diabetes/TB care in Burkina Faso and Mali, financed by "L'Initiative".


Santé Diabète is one of the civil society structures selected to participate in the 2nd United Nations High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.


Organization of the first inter-country dialogue framework (Mali, Burkina Faso, Union of the Comoros and France) to share and capitalize on the activities implemented and the results obtained in the different countries.


Launch of a new 3-year “convention program” including Mali, Burkina Faso and the Union of the Comoros, mainly co-funded by the French Development Agency and the World Diabetes Foundation. Implementation of a Covid19-Diabetes response plan in Mali and Burkina Faso.


May : adoption of a landmark resolution on diabetes by WHO Member States under the leadership of Santé Diabète.
December : organization in Grenoble of a meeting of French-speaking experts on diabetes
Opening to the Union of the Comoros of our project on Diabetes/HIV and TB/diabetes comorbidities.


Launch of houses for the prevention of diabetes risk factors in our 3 countries of intervention (Burkina Faso, Mali and in the Union of the Comoros) which will greatly strengthen our prevention actions with partner structures from civil society.


Launch of our new 3-year program, which will run from mid-2023 to mid-2026 in Mali, Burkina Faso, the Union of Comoros and France. It is mainly financed in Mali by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the World Diabetes Foundation, the Swiss Development Cooperation, Life For A Child and the Association Luxembourgeoise du Diabète. In the Comoros Union and Burkina Faso, it is mainly financed by the Agence Française de Développement, the Initiative / Expertise France, le Helmsley Charitable Trust, la World Diabetes Foundation, le programme Life For A Child et la Mairie de Grenoble.

In parallel, Santé Diabète launched exploratory missions in 3 new countries: Djibouti, Togo and Cape Verde.

Our organization

Santé Diabète organizational chart

The team

The NGO Santé Diabète is a team of 40 people organized with:

  • A general management team with a general director, an administrative and financial director and a technical director.
  • A support team staffed by a communications manager and a person in charge of strengthening the monitoring of prevention and care activities.
  • A French head office with an Education for Citizenship and International Solidarity (ECSI) project manager and an administrative and financial manager.

Three country delegations Mali, Burkina Faso and Union of the Comoros each composed of :

  • A delegation coordinator
  • An administrative and financial manager
  • Project managers in charge of the various areas of intervention (offer of care, prevention, etc.)
Find here, the video presentation of our teams :

Board of directors


The Board of Directors decides, after deliberation, on all the strategic orientations of the association. The Board meets with the director at least every 6 months.

The Board of Directors is made up of 5 members: president, secretary and assistant secretary, treasurer and assistant treasurer.

  • David Hacquin President
  • Christophe Perrin Secretary
  • David Beran Treasurer
  • Laurent Goetz Assistant Treasurer
  • Nathalie Le-Moullec Assistant Secretary
  • Perrine Geniez Member
  • Nathalie Chatillon Member
  • Pauline Brailly-Vignal Technical patient referent
  • François Samuel Lahaye Member, medical referent
  • Anne-Laure Coulon Member, medical referent
  • Christine Waterlot Member, medical referent
  • Marie Veillon Member
  • Cynthia Fleury Member
  • Pauline Trébuchet Member
  • Joël Grevost Member


The NGO Santé Diabète relies on a network of high-level partners who provide ad hoc expertise that both guide our interventions and carry out joint actions in the field.


  • International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • West African Health Organization (WAHO)
  • World Diabetes Fondation (WDF)
  • Société Francophone du Diabète (SFD)
  • University of Montreal - Faculty of Medicine - Department of Nutrition, WHO Collaborating Center on Nutritional Transition and Development
  • Grenoble University Hospital Center
  • Reunion University Hospital Center
  • Paris University Hospital Center (La pitié salpêtrière)
  • Necker University Hospital for Sick Children - Diabetology Department
  • Geneva University Hospitals
  • Université de Genève
  • Harvard University
  • Reunion University - Educational science
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Fédération Française des Diabétiques (FFD)
  • Luxembourg Diabetes Association (ALD)
  • Austrian Association of Diabetes Educators (VOD)
  • International Insulin Foundation (IIF)
  • Type 1 Diabetes SWEET initiative project
  • Geneva Health Forum (GFH)
  • Chaire de Philosophie à l’Hôpital et Chaire Humanités et Santé
  • Observatoire de la transparence dans les politiques du médicament (OTMeds)
  • Life for a Child (LFAC)
  • Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
  • Health Action International (HAI)
  • NCD Lab
  • T1International


Strict external and internal financial control mechanisms allow Santé Diabète to report at all times on the proper use of the funds entrusted to it: annual external audits carried out by approved international audit firms, certification of the association's accounts by an auditor, external audits of our partners.



1,5% operating costs


To go further


Biannual bulletin
N°11 - January/June 2023

Full report (30 pages) of the actions of Santé Diabète including the distribution and uses of resources.

Synthetic presentation (16 pages) of the missions and programs of Santé Diabète.

Santé Diabète in action

Discover the programs and actions carried out by Santé Diabète in the field