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Global Health Magazine: Leveraging Existing Health Platforms to Expand NCD Services

Authors: Pete Lamptey, Rebecca Dirks, and Inoussa Kabore
September 1, 2011

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The authors consider how non-communicable disease prevention strategies might be integrated into pre-existing health platforms in order to minimize costs and maximize efficiency.

The amplified interest in the global epidemic of non-communicable disease (NCD) is well-founded and long overdue. NCDs are responsible for the largest burden of disease globally. They account for 60% of the 57 million deaths worldwide, 80 percent of which occur in low- and middle- income countries. Since a significant proportion of deaths due to NCDs are premature (people younger than 60-years-old), they place considerable constraints on economic and social development.

Given limitations in funding and human resources, as well as the double burden of infectious diseases in many low- and middle- income countries, integration of NCD services into existing health platforms offers a cost-effective and efficient approach to scaling up NCD services. Natural linkages between NCDs and their risk factors exist with health programs targeting HIV and other infectious diseases, sexual and reproductive health, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, and nutrition.

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