Global NCDs

- Global Hearts initiative

To support governments in strengthening the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), in 2016 WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) launched the Global Hearts Initiative.The Initiative comprises five technical packages which provide a set of high-impact, evidence-based interventions that, when used together, will have a major impact on improving global heart health.

On the prevention side, the Global Hearts Initiative comprises the MPOWER package for tobacco control in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the ACTIVE package for increasing physical activity, the SHAKE package for salt reduction, and the REPLACE package to eliminate industrially-produced trans fat from the global food supply. On the management side, the HEARTS technical package is aimed at strengthening the management of CVDs in primary health care. For more details click here

For a brochure of the initiative click here


- Relevant knowledge


To reduce the preventable and avoidable burden of morbidity, mortality and disability due to noncommunicable diseases by means of multisectoral collaboration and cooperation at national, regional and global levels, The World Health Assembly endorsed the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 in May 2013. The Global Action Plan provides Member States, international partners and WHO with a road map and menu of policy options which, when implemented collectively between 2013 and 2020, will contribute to progress on 9 global NCD targets to be attained in 2025, including a 25% relative reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025.


NCD Countdown 2030 is an independent collaboration to inform policies that aim to reduce the worldwide burden of NCDs, and to ensure accountability towards this aim. Globally, the lowest risks of NCD mortality in 2016 were seen in high income countries in Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Australasia, and in Canada. The highest risks of dying from NCDs were observed in low-income and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and, for men, in central Asia and Eastern Europe. 86 (46%) countries for women and 97 (52%) for men need implementation of policies that substantially increase the rates of decline in NCD mortality to achieve the sustainable development goal (SDG) target 3.4—a one-third reduction, relative to 2015 levels, in the probability of dying between 30 years and 70 years of age from cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes by 2030—.  Substantial reduction of NCD mortality requires policies that considerably reduce tobacco and alcohol use and blood pressure, and equitable access to efficacious and high-quality preventive and curative care for acute and chronic NCDs.


Reduction of the non-communicable disease (NCD) burden is a global development imperative. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 includes target 3·4 to reduce premature NCD mortality by a third by 2030. Progress on SDG target 3·4 will have a central role in determining the success of at least nine SDGs. A strengthened effort across multiple sectors with effective economic tools, such as price policies and insurance, is necessary. 


Five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set targets that relate to the reduction of health inequalities nationally and worldwide. These targets are poverty reduction, health and wellbeing for all, equitable education, gender equality, and reduction of inequalities within and between countries. The interaction between inequalities and health is complex: better economic and educational outcomes for households enhance health, low socioeconomic status leads to chronic ill health, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) reduce income status of households.  A sustained reduction of general inequalities in income status, education, and gender within and between countries would enhance worldwide equality in health. 


This third Country Profiles report aims to provide an overview of the current status of NCDs in each WHO Member State, to assess progress against the nine global targets, and identify where further action is required. Each profile provides for each Member State, updated data, where available, on the current burden and recent trends in NCD mortality, prevalence and some trends in major NCD risk factors, as well as the national systems response capacity to prevent and respond to major NCDs.


Despite the efforts to point out with alarm the enormous global burden of NCDs and the need for health-promoting actions, there has been a marked inability to create a sense of urgency about the need to address this burden and take up the needed actions. That lack of concern is manifested in a lack of global resources dedicated to NCDs and the global lack of capacity to deal with NCDs and the lack of sustainable programs to create an appropriate public health infrastructure. This handbook defines four sections that would try to encompass the critical aspects of the research and practice related to NCDs and health promotion that need to be known and examined by present-day researchers and practitioners

There is a clear need to better apply evidence in public health settings to tackle both behaviour-related factors and the underlying social and economic conditions. This article describes concepts of evidence-based public health (EBPH) and outlines a set of actions that are essential for successful global NCD prevention.


The Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission: bridging a gap in universal health coverage for the poorest billion
In recent years, NCDs and injuries have been identified as priorities both for global health and for equitable and sustainable development. UN High-Level meetings in 2011, 2014 and 2018 called for urgent action to address NCDs both as the leading causes of death and disability worldwide and as “one of the major challenges for development in the twenty-first century.”
Yet to date, global policies and funding devoted to NCDs have focused almost entirely on four diseases (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease) and four “lifestyle” behavioral risk factors – namely tobacco use, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, and alcohol abuse. This global agenda has effectively excluded the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer a heavy and avertable burden of NCDs that are not linked to preventable behaviors, including type 1 and malnutrition-associated diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, childhood cancers, asthma, chronic kidney disease, epilepsy, mental health conditions, trauma, and other severe and avertable conditions that disproportionately impact the poor.
For video of webinar launching of the report Click here
For the report Click here

Draft NCDI Poverty Network Charter presented at Network launch event

Following the virtual launch of The Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and Injuries for the Poorest Billion, the NCDI Poverty secretariat is launching the NCDI Poverty Network. This network will be a platform for National NCDI Poverty Commissions and other partners and stakeholders to identify solutions and mobilize support to address critical challenges posed by NCDs and injuries among the world’s poorest people.

A draft charter for the Network was posted for public comment in September and revised extensively in early December based on input from experts and advocates representing more than 20 organizations across 13 countries. The revised draft was presented at an event launching the NCDI Poverty Network on December 7, 2020, and is available for download here. Ratification of the charter is anticipated in February 2021.