Joined the programme in 2022

Barranquilla, a medium-sized coastal Caribbean city, joined the Cities Changing Diabetes network in November 2022, becoming the partnership’s second member city in Colombia after Bogotá in 2020. The partnership between Novo Nordisk, the Embassy of Denmark, Universidad Simón Bolívar, and the office of the mayor of Barranquilla will work with the health and private sectors to promote a cohesive agenda of prevention and education.  


Barranquilla is home to over 1.2 million people, making it the fourth largest city in Colombia. The city is facing a growing prevalence of chronic disease – it is estimated that between 70.000 and 90.000 people are living with diabetes and nearly 40% of cases are undiagnosed. In addition, official numbers show that approximately 6 in 10 adults in the city live with overweight or obesity.

Key facts and figures



of adults in Barranquilla are living with diabetes1

~ 60%


of adults in Barranquilla are living with overweight or obesity2



of children in Barranquilla between 5 and 12 years old are living with overweight3



of people living with diabetes in Barranquilla are undiagnosed as estimated1

The Cities Changing Diabetes Barranquilla partners are working to define a roadmap for how the programme can accelerate diabetes prevention efforts and long-term investments in urban health. Collaboration between the public sector, private sector, and academia will provide a strong foundation for developing effective prevention strategies for both the city as a whole and local communities. The main action areas are:

  • Introducing health education and prevention initiatives in Barranquilla’s enterprises to promote healthy lifestyles among workers and business owners.   
  • Collaborating with Todos al Parque, a Prize for Cities winner initiative, that aims to recover public spaces as instruments of urban and social transformation. For instance, under this effort, 202 parks have been revitalized, 48 parks have been built, and nearly 1.453.620 m2 of public space have been recovered.
  • Creating a health education and prevention zone in the Malecón del Río, a 10-km corridor along the Magdalena River that has become the city’s epicenter of entertainment, gastronomy, events, culture, and sports. 


"Over the last 14 years, Barranquilla has been developing a health model based on prevention and promotion with a strong local network of services and professionals. That model has become a reference for the country. This new partnership contributes to our efforts of strengthening the ways in which we diagnose, approach, and support people living with diabetes in order to improve their quality of life"  

 Jaime Pumarejo, Mayor of Barranquilla


Alcaldía de Barranquilla 


Alcaldía de Barranquilla and ENSIN survey 


Ministerio de Salud de Colombia and ENSIN Survey