Came across this interesting article on non-communicable disease in the Daily Star a couple days ago. Check it out here in the Daily Star.
Quite an interesting take on things – and it’s true. A closer look at DALYs (disability adjusted life years, which are a public health indicator of total disease burden) in Bangladesh reveals that NCDs now impose the largest health burden in the country. As the article states, NCDs (inclusive of injuries) accounts for ~61% of disease burden while ~39% is from communicable disease, maternal and child health and nutrition combined.
Policy reflects this as well. Bangladesh’s five-year plan for health identifies cancer, CVD (cardiovascular disease), and diabetes as severe public health problems. But does the policy translate to action? Efforts towards NCD prevention and treatment have been a low national priority for funding and programming in light of the current focus on the MDGs.
We establish global criteria for improving health, which end up defining national public health agendas. It’s unfortunate when the global benchmarks do not reflect the true need of the nation in question; nations are tied down by outside influences that define funding and thus what initiatives can do and what they must focus on.