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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/22/21

Will global charter help accelerate action on NCDs to prevent untimely deaths?

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Shobha Shukla - CNS

Integrated healthcare response is a fundamental human right, and includes preventive healthcare.
Integrated healthcare response is a fundamental human right, and includes preventive healthcare.
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A report released recently by NCD Alliance during the Annual Global Week for Action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), calls for integration of NCDs prevention and care into global health initiatives and universal health coverage.

Jointly produced by the George Institute for Global Health and NCD Alliance, the report makes a call for breaking down the existing silos in global health, and reorienting NCDs services to be people-centric and to be integrated. It argues that political commitments to integrate NCDs care and control with services for priority groups - such as people living with HIV, people affected by TB and malaria, and key populations from reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health programmes - have not translated into reality on the ground in low- and middle-income countries.

Ignoring the interconnections between these target populations, and the reality of the epidemiological shift to NCDs, is resulting in drastic consequences, more so as co-morbidities between infectious diseases and NCDs are becoming more entrenched.

Even though NCDs are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, and co-morbidities between infectious diseases and NCDs are becoming more entrenched, healthcare in many countries does not yet respond to the needs of people living with NCDs. Covid has further intensified the need to ensure that people can more easily access simultaneous services that prevent and treat both infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria, and NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

At an event organised during the report launch, the NCDs community and experts voiced their concerns and shared personal experiences regarding NCDs care and control, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

integrated healthcare is a compelling need since very long!

Global health data is an evidence that year after year, infectious diseases and NCDs have been deeply entrenched but our healthcare responses have failed to integrate effectively to prevent needless human suffering and avert untimely deaths. Even progress on health and development cross-connections has been abysmal - for instance, malnutrition and TB both continue to fuel each other.

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