Countries invited to establish national NCDI Poverty Commissions or to implement PEN-Plus services for severe NCDs

Author: NCD Synergies, Partners In Health
April 8, 2020

The organizations that serve as the Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission secretariat — the Program in Global NCDs and Social Change at Harvard Medical School and the NCD Synergies project at Partners In Health — have issued two RFIs:

  • a Request for Applications (RFA) for countries interested in establishing National NCDI Poverty Commissions; and
  • a Request for Interest (RFI) for countries that would like support in implementing integrated PEN-Plus services for severe, chronic NCDs.

As Commission co-chairs Gene Bukhman and Ana Mocumbi explained in an email to leaders of existing national commissions, “We believe that the COVID epidemic makes our work even more important. The global economic recession that will surely affect most all countries this decade will blunt progress on poverty eradication and make it even more unlikely that countries will be able to finance their most urgent health system needs from domestic resources. The epidemic will also reveal the special vulnerability of those already affected by endemic non-communicable conditions to economic and biological shocks.”

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Request for Applications – National NCDI Poverty Commissions
Countries with high concentrations of people living in extreme poverty are invited to submit applications for technical and financial support in establishing National NCDI Poverty Commissions. These expert committees are comprised of diverse and interested stakeholders, including national policy makers, clinicians and academic researchers, health planning and financing experts, implementing partners and donors, civil society, and patient advocates. These groups assemble and synthesize existing data to propose evidence-based recommendations and catalyze local and national efforts to address NCDIs affecting the poorest. The full RFA and related documents, including a list of eligible countries and the Application Form are available here.

Request for Interest – PEN-Plus Implementation
Countries that already have established national commissions are invited to submit letters of interest for support in initiating implementation of PEN-Plus services for severe, chronic NCDs at first referral-level hospitals. PEN-Plus is an integrated strategy that builds on the World Health Organization’s Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions (WHO PEN) in order to increase the quality of services for severe chronic NCDs at primary referral facilities (e.g. district hospitals). PEN-Plus also seeks to accelerate decentralization of services for common NCDs at primary care facilities (e.g. health centers). Conditions addressed by PEN-Plus providers typically include relatively complex diseases such as type 1 diabetes, advanced rheumatic heart disease, and sickle cell disease. PEN-Plus providers also train and mentor WHO PEN workers addressing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, uncomplicated hypertension, and asthma at health centers. More information, including the full RFI document and a template for submitting a Letter of Interest, is available here.