Non Communicable Diseases
Non- communicable diseases ( NCDs) are known to contribute to a high share of premature deaths and heavy burdens of ill health. NCDs are estimated to cause over 80 percent of premature deaths. This explains why the global discourse has prioritarized addressing NCDs as a priority target. Indeed the countries of the world have committed themselves to the time bound target (from 2015 to 2030) of reducing, by one third, the premature deaths from NCDs. Clearly, addressing the heavy toll of NCDs can go a long way in achieving the sustainable development goal 3 (SDG 3) of ‘Health and Wellbeing for All’.
The international literature on NCDs is abundant. Such literature reflects an adequate social framing of the determinants of NCDs and well informed integrated biomedical and social strategies for addressing NCDs. Indeed the global strategy for NCDs adopted by the 66th World Health Assembly (WHO 2013) is well situated in an informed social framing. Such social framing is a welcome departure from the framing of many other diseases that tends to be dominated by the biomedical and health care models.
Indeed there is enough scientific evidence that document the behavioral underpinnings (smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity) that shape the metabolic precursors (high blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol and glucose levels,..) underlying the NCDs. Also, the existing recommended strategies recognize that changing the behavioral risk of NCDs requires both a multilevel approach and life course perspective.