Chronic diseases and health promotion

Integrated chronic disease prevention and control

Report of the Global Survey on the Progress in National Chronic Diseases Prevention and Control

The World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed the Global Strategy for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (Resolution WHA53.17) in May 2000, which requests WHO to provide technical support and appropriate guidance to Member States in assessing their needs, developing effective programmes and adapting their health systems to respond to the noncommunicable diseases (NCD) epidemic. Following the adoption of the Resolution WHO conducted its first Global Survey on Assessment of National Capacity for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Control: The Report of a Global Survey (2001). The Survey was aimed at: assessing existing country capacity in health policy, programmes and infrastructure to prevent, control and treat NCD; identifying constraints and needs among Member States; setting priorities for WHO technical support to Member States; and assisting them in planning, implementing and evaluating their responses.

Since then, WHO has prompted actions targeted at NCD, which culminated in a series of vital WHO documents. The World Health Report 2002, Reducing Risk, Promoting Healthy Life, raised awareness of risk factors. In 2003 and 2004, the WHA endorsed, respectively, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. In October 2005, the WHO Global Report on ''Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment'' was launched. This Report makes the case for urgent action to halt and turn back the growing threat of chronic noncommunicable diseases. WHO has at all times been actively supporting partnerships and networking among Member States committed to NCD prevention and control.

While the achievements made at country and global levels since 2000-2001 are encouraging, the NCD burden is predicted to grow unless more decisive action is taken. In this context, the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion at WHO Headquarters initiated a new wave of surveys whose instruments included quantitative and qualitative components. Thanks to the cooperation of the regional offices, all WHO regions were surveyed in 2005-2006 with the exception of the Western Pacific Region (WPR), where the Regional Office had conducted a similar survey in 2004.