Health system response and capacity to address and respond to NCDs
Existence of operational policies, strategies, or action plans
Situation and trends
About 92% of countries have developed at least one policy, plan or strategy to address NCDs and/or their risk factors. The widespread presence of a policy, plan or strategy is a positive finding since they are the cornerstones of NCD prevention and control. They show that countries have national frameworks to guide the development and implementation of interventions – and suggest there is a recognition of the need to address NCDs.
Despite this positive finding, there are significant variations between diseases and risk factors. The figure below shows that fewest plans for tackling NCDs had been developed for chronic respiratory disease. In regards to risk factors, in more than 80% of countries, tobacco control policies and plans are available, 75% have policies addressing diet and physical inactivity and the fewest plans have been developed for tackling harmful alcohol consumption. Although priority for establishing policies and plans should be based on the burden of diseases and prevalence of the risk factor as well as the availability of cost-effective interventions, the pattern in the figure indicates that this is not always the case.
It is important to note that having a policy, plan or strategy on paper does not necessarily mean that it is implemented or funded. As seen in the figure above, a considerable proportion of policies and plans were not described by respondents as being operational. In addition, on average, countries reported that only 50% of NCDs policies, plans and strategies were being funded.