To lessen the impact of NCDs on individuals and society, a comprehensive approach is needed that requires all sectors, including health, finance, foreign affairs, education, agriculture, planning and others, to work together to reduce the risks associated with NCDs, as well as promote the interventions to prevent and control them.
An important way to reduce NCDs is to focus on lessening the risk factors associated with these diseases. Low-cost solutions exist to reduce the common modifiable risk factors (mainly tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol) and map the epidemic of NCDs and their risk factors (1).
Other ways to reduce NCDs are high impact essential NCD interventions that can be delivered through a primary health-care approach to strengthen early detection and timely treatment. Evidence shows that such interventions are excellent economic investments because, if applied to patients early, can reduce the need for more expensive treatment. These measures can be implemented in various resource levels. The greatest impact can be achieved by creating healthy public policies that promote NCD prevention and control and reorienting health systems to address the needs of people with such diseases.
Lower-income countries generally have lower capacity for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
High-income countries are nearly four times more likely to have NCD services covered by health insurance than low-income countries. Countries with inadequate health insurance coverage are unlikely to provide universal access to essential NCD interventions.