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Noncommunicable Diseases in the Developing World

, 184 pages

9 line drawings

November 2013



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Noncommunicable Diseases in the Developing World

Addressing Gaps in Global Policy and Research

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions, and cancers—are the leading causes of death worldwide. An estimated 36 million people die from such diseases each year; this represents roughly two out of three deaths globally. Eighty percent of these fatalities occur in developing countries. The statistics are staggering, yet millions of these deaths are preventable. This is an urgent global health issue that demands analysis of gaps in NCD research, new policies and practices, and actionable recommendations to close the gaps.

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise convened an NCD Working Group of leading scholars to examine a wide range of issues that both the private and public sectors must address to make sustainable progress in NCD prevention and treatment in lower- and middle-income countries. Collected in this volume are essays on five key areas where strengthened policies and health systems can have the most impact in the near future.• Accelerating regulatory harmonization• Structuring supply chains• Improving access to interventions• Restructuring primary care• Promoting multisectoral and intersectoral action

While there is a growing literature on the problem of NCDs, none of the available studies provides background on the range of challenges matched with specific steps that can be taken by the public sector, private sector, and civil society working together. Noncommunicable Diseases in the Developing World presents a framework for understanding the salience of specific policy recommendations and detailed steps that can be taken now to move forward in the global campaign against NCDs.

This book will be of interest to practitioners, scholars, and students in public health as well as those framing and implementing health policies in the private and public sectors.

Louis Galambos is a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise. Jeffrey L. Sturchio is senior partner at Rabin Martin, a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, and former president and CEO of the Global Health Council.

"Today we face a global tsunami of noncommunicable diseases. No longer considered 'diseases of affluence,' they are now the world's major cause of death, morbidity, and disability and threaten to overwhelm health services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This timely book reviews some of the key research in this area, showing how health, environment, social, and economic factors interact and suggesting how we can begin to tackle this new epidemic."

"Galambos and Sturchio have produced a fresh text that motivates for significant increases in investments in NCD control in developing countries. The new WHO goals will remain purely aspirational unless policy makers address their recommendations. This is a must-read for all involved in health policy."

"NCDs are finally recognized as a very complex challenge. They threaten to reverse important health gains achieved in recent decades and impair sustainable development, particularly for low and middle-income countries. Distinguished scholars with vast knowledge and experience provide valuable guidance for policy makers on five key areas to best incorporate NCD responses into existing programs and resources."

"Noncommunicable diseases are the new pandemic of the twenty-first century. Galambos and Sturchio assembled a distinguished group of contributors to address the task of 'closing the gap' in the developing world. It is a lucid, scholarly, informative examination that focuses on what may be possible in the coming decades."

"An extremely well-pieced-together contribution to global health on NCDs. The expert authors have given an excellent summary of the NCD political roadmap and critically appraised the challenges facing developing countries as they tackle the NCD epidemic. A must-read for all those working in the field of global health."

"Those of us who have argued that NCDs should be embedded in the global health and development agendas have been privileged to see our call to action result in a better situation for future generations. This impressive book recalls the history of that movement and presents the case to focus specifically in developing countries."

"Extremely well presented and straightforward to read. The chapters are structured, leading the reader through the important concepts and offering suggestions for action. It is well written and accessible to those with an interest in this field."

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