Posted by: ihfgeneva | March 20, 2013

A dialogue to address risk factors for NCDs

The International Hospital Federation, with Dr. Adeleke Pitan as a representative member, participated in the “Stakeholder´s dialogue to address risk factors for Non-Communicable diseases” hosted by the World Health Organization African Region in Johannesburg, South Africa.

With the objective of sharing information, identifying challenges and opportunities, and reaching a consensus in priority actions to take against NCD´s, the main stakeholders (government, industry and civil society) established a dialogue on implementation and intervention strategies to eliminate NCD risk factors in the future.

In a presentation given by Dr. Pitan, it was noted that Non-Communicable Diseases (or NCDs) are the leading cause of deaths worldwide with almost 35 million victims each year (60% of global deaths).

While expanding its numbers worldwide, NCDs specially represent a huge threat for African population and are projected to increase 27% in the continent in upcoming years.

A special element pointed out by Dr. Pitan was that, while health services are being developed and helped in Africa, they focus on curative care rather than preventive and promotive care. However, it is the IHF´s point of view that there should be no sole focus on prevention without addressing the conditions of those suffering of chronic and multi-chronic conditions and that it is obvious to all that there is a need of combination between treatment and prevention.

Solutions from a health provider perspective where proposed by Dr. Pitan as well and included:

  • Promotion of NCD prevention interventions in primary health (with a focus in Health Education).
  • Integration of basic EHR (Electronic Hospital Records) into hospitals that will allow easier follow-up of NCDs patients.
  • Establishment of screening and identifications of NCDs as part of baseline care in hospitals.
  • Reestructure of payment systems to reimburse hospitals and health professionals for patient education, preventive health and follow-up management.
  • Inclusion of NCD intervention standardized protocol as performance indicator for hospital/health facility re-accreditations.

Other measures outside the providers view were given, such as increasing taxation in tobacco, alcohol and carbonated drinks or the possibility of increased government, NGO or donor funding to aid the research on NCD prevention and management.

A call for collaboration was made to all stakeholders to support the elimination of this risks.

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