“We will never achieve our development goals if we don’t take seriously the noncommunicable ailments of our patient populations — ailments which most of our citizens must simply endure since they cannot pay for treatment.”
Hon. Min. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda Ministry of Health
Foreward, The PIH Guide to Chronic Care Integration for Endemic NCDs
Efforts to extend care for noncommunicable diseases and injuries to the poorest billion are underfunded worldwide. NCD funding currently accounts for only 1.2 percent of all development assistance for health, according to an IHME study. Funding for work on NCDs and injuries in low-income countries can be unreliable, rigidly divided by individual disease, and highly dependent on donor priorities year-to-year.
In international NCD advocacy, where debates around policy and clinical priorities can affect the global direction of NCD funding, the voices and needs of the very poorest communities are too often lost. This imbalance of input forces ministries of health in low-income countries to design their services according to the prioritization of certain risk factors by high-income countries whose disease burden is very different than their own.
How we can move forward
In order to achieve success in addressing NCDs and injuries in the very poor, inequity in funding streams and advocacy must be dealt with head on. Especially in a moment when the international community is working to define the post-2015 development agenda and many leaders are driving the conversation towards efforts in expanding universal health coverage, NCDs and injuries among the very poor need to be highlighted at a global level.
Working together we can sustain and expand funding for treatment of NCDs and injuries in the world’s poorest populations. Here’s how:
- Our partners and supporters, such as the Republic of Rwanda and Medtronic Philanthropy, are demonstrating strong leadership in supporting efforts to address NCDs and injuries in settings of extreme poverty.
- The 80 x 40 x 20 commentary in The Lancet, an outcome of the 2013 NCD Synergies conference in Kigali, Rwanda outlines Hon. Min. Binagwaho’s equity-based agenda for reducing premature mortality from all NCDs and injuries by 80 percent in individuals younger than 40 years by the year 2020.
- Instead of advocating for solutions disease by disease, an integrated approach to NCDs and injuries holds the most promise for real change among the poorest populations.
- Learn more about how to get involved with this important work.