From burden to "best buys":
Reducing the economic impact of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries
Summary: World Health Organization, September 2011
New WHO study details low-cost solutions to help curb the tide on noncommunicable diseases
Strategies to prevent and treat cancer, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease for just US$ 1.20 per person per year
Available online PDF file at: http://bit.ly/r7ZYS0
“……- A new WHO study reveals that low-income countries could introduce a core set of strategies to prevent and treat cancer, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease for just US$ 1.20 per person per year.
The impact of noncommunicable diseases - or NCDs - goes beyond health: their socioeconomic effects are staggering. The cost of not taking action to address this global threat is already severe and will intensify over time.
"Noncommunicable diseases are one of the leading threats to global economic growth and development. Over the next 15 years, noncommunicable diseases will cost low- and middle-income countries' more than US$ 7 trillion," says Jean Pierre Rosso, Chairman, World Economic Forum (WEF), quoting the results of a WEF and Harvard School of Public Health study released today. "When so many of the workforce is sick and dies in their productive years, national economies lose billions of dollars in output. And millions of families are pushed into poverty."
The list includes measures that target the population as a whole, such as excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, smoke-free indoor workplaces and public places, health information and warnings, as well as campaigns to reduce salt content and replacement of trans fats with polyunsaturated fats, along with public awareness programmes about diet and physical activity.
Other tactics focus on the individual. These include screening, counselling and drug therapy for people with or at high risk of cardiovascular disease, screening for cervical cancer, and hepatitis B immunization to prevent liver cancer.
Many countries have already adopted these approaches, and have seen a marked reduction in disease incidence and mortality. WHO monitored progress over ten years in 38 countries taking steps to address cardiovascular disease at both the population and individual level: all recorded a substantial decrease in exposure to risk, incidence of disease and deaths. …”
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