Diseases with the highest mortality receive the lowest levels of financing, according to the Global Burden Disease Study carried out in 2017 and 2019 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Precisely, 73.4% of all deaths in 2017 were caused by non-communicable diseases comprising cardiovascular diseases, neoplasm, diabetes, neurological disorders and others.
The Global Burden of Disease study has also revealed that NCDs in general receive lower funding streams compared to other diseases. As the illustration depicts, $39.8 billion goes to infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, while only $730 million go to NCDs.
As investigated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases continues to grow with no flattening curve in sight. From 1990 until 2016, there has been a global increase of 0.4 billion people affected by NCDs.
Non-communicable diseases, obesity and the covid-19 impetus for building better health systems
The novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fault lines in both global and national health infrastructures, highlighting inequalities and structural flaws. There has never been a timelier moment to focus on how to improve the resilience of health systems
A decade of initiatives to combat non-communicable diseases have failed to curb their growth. Policymakers need a more comprehensive approach that recognises the complexity of these health failures and takes lessons from successful infectious disease campaigns
The obesity crisis has been a long time in the making, gathering force despite more than a decade of individual initiatives to reduce the numbers of seriously overweight people. Comprehensive policymaking that touches on the complex roots of obesity has huge potential to reverse the progress of a deadly epidemic linked to growth in economic prosperity
As obesity reaches epidemic levels globally, experts are reflecting on the mixed results of policies implemented over the past decade and asking if obesity should be treated as a disease more than as a lifestyle choice that individuals can modify
Populations in more than one in three low-income countries are hit by a double burden of malnutrition in the form of both obesity and undernutrition. Effective nutrition programmes can help countries overcome the double malnutrition challenge
Non-communicable diseases and their risk factors seem to be common among certain groups of friends and families. Genetic reasons aside, the concepts of social contagion, shared spaces and a tendency for similar people to associate (known as homophily), might explain why these diseases appear to be more infectious than their name suggests
Policies to curb NCDs need to consider broader environment for good health
Rates of obesity are skyrocketing, and more comprehensive policies are needed to fully address the complex causes of the condition
Digital health solutions have the potential to enhance the reach and capacity of the health workforce and the efficiency of health services. They have been a key factor in battling the covid-19 pandemic, helping health systems to function under tremendous pressure, particularly in lower and middle-income countries (LMICs), where care resources tend to be scarce even in non-pandemic times.
Can information technology save the world from the rising burden of ill-health? And can personal data be guarded with sufficient vigilance for people to put their trust in the authorities to handle it with due responsibility? There are no easy answers
The number of people living in cities is projected to rise from 55 % to 68 % of the world’s population by 2050, according to the United Nations. Strong leadership and multi-sectoral planning can make our cities far healthier for human habitation