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Case studies of non-communicable disease action around the world: successes, barriers, and lessons learned

Published in Globalization and Health

© Neustockimages / Getty Images / iStockThe global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is large and growing. Although experts tend to focus on the rising burden in emerging market countries like Brazil, China, and India, NCDs affect nearly every country in the world, from the most affluent countries to the most poverty-stricken and war-torn countries. 

Experiences from a diverse range of countries can help to inform and ensure the success of future NCD prevention and control efforts; however, these narratives are rarely told. This collection aims to fill that gap. Each case study outlines the country's NCD burden, describes country-specific drivers, and spotlights both successful and unsuccessful national prevention and control efforts. We aim to move beyond the narrow costs and assess the full extent of social harm, and attempt to include health consequences that are not typically considered. For example, rising diabetes in China is creating a massive demand for organs in the context of decreasing supply with the financial crisis. This feeds organised criminal activity and human rights violations. To maximize what we can learn from the case studies, each is written in a similar and comparative structure. 

The collection offers the potential to analyze what works and what is failing in different regions and across levels of development. The diversity of countries reflects diverse challenges in chronic disease prevention and control at various stages of epidemiologic transition and in unique historical and regional contexts. The hope is that it will shed light on the NCD burden in countries that are not usually spotlighted when describing the NCD burden, and could also help to identify lessons learned across countries and strengthen global intervention efforts. With the current and growing global momentum for addressing NCDs (particularly leading up to the UN NCD meeting in September 2011), this collection will be of interest - and of use - to many public health professionals across the globe.

  1. Globally, chronic diseases are responsible for an enormous burden of deaths, disability, and economic loss, yet little is known about the optimal health sector response to chronic diseases in poor, post-confli...

    Authors: Patrick T Lee, Gina R Kruse, Brian T Chan, Moses BF Massaquoi, Rajesh R Panjabi, Bernice T Dahn and Walter T Gwenigale
    Citation: Globalization and Health 2011 7:37