“Many characteristics of noncommunicable diseases mandate that countries — not just governments but civil society, the private sector, and event communities — take the lead in preventing and controlling their rise. These characteristics include the lifelong nature of risk exposure and lifestyle choices that determine disease incidence and progression, the importance of site-specific ecology and population-specific ecology, and the necessity of strengthening health system organization and capacity […] The global challenge of addressing NCDs can become a model to truly advance the principle of country-driven action.”
This commentary, published in Global Heart in 2012, advocates the role of country-led action in driving forward successful efforts to address noncommunicable diseases in low and middle-income countries worldwide. In particular, the authors discuss key questions national policy leaders currently face, including:
- What are the specific characteristics of the disease burden and economic burden in their country?
- How much public resources should be devoted to NCDs?
- What other resources are available to dedicate to NCD control?
- Which policies and interventions make sense in their country, and how should they be implemented?
- How can they work with policymakers and experts globally and in other countries with common needs?
Authors include Rachel Nugent at the University of Washington, Bridget Kelly at the Institute of Medicine, and Jagat Narula at Mount Sinai College of Medicine.