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Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 70% of all deaths worldwide. This translates to 41 million people each year.

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Issues

According to the WHO's observation in 2016, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide (WHO, 2016). The socioeconomic costs associated with NCDs make the prevention and control of these diseases a major development imperative for the 21st century (WHO, Noncommunicable diseases, 2018). 

For example, the OECD publication in 2019 on Obesity shows that overweight reduces life expectancy, increases healthcare costs and decreases worker’s productivity, but also lowers GPD (OECD, 2019). The mental heath is also a problem in context of SARS-Cov-2 pandemic and beyond. In 2003, the WHO estimated the cost of mental health in developed countries between 3% and 4% of GNP (WHO, Investing in Mental Health, 2003). The recent JAMA publication shows that in context of SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, report increase of symptoms of depression or anxiety. In addition, the cost of indirect impact of SARS-Cov-2 on mental health is estimated approximately $1.6 trillion for the US (Cutler, 2021). Priority needs to be given to the prevention of mental disorders (Xiong, 2020).

Why do health prevention? What are the benefits? What are the current challenges?

Health prevention is a critical aspect of overall health and well-being. It involves taking proactive steps to maintain good health and prevent illnesses and diseases. The benefits of health prevention are numerous, including:

  1. Improved health outcomes: By taking steps to prevent illnesses and diseases, individuals can improve their health outcomes and live longer, healthier lives.

  2. Reduced healthcare costs: Preventing illnesses and diseases can also help reduce healthcare costs by avoiding the need for expensive medical treatments and procedures.

  3. Increased productivity: Good health is essential for productivity and success in both personal and professional life. By maintaining good health through prevention, individuals can achieve more and be more productive.

The current challenges in health prevention include:

  1. Lack of access to preventive healthcare: Despite the numerous benefits of health prevention, many individuals, particularly those from marginalized communities, face barriers to accessing preventive healthcare services.

  2. Inadequate funding for preventive programs: Preventive healthcare programs often receive less funding compared to treatment and cure-focused programs, making it difficult to implement and scale effective preventive measures.

  3. Resistance to lifestyle changes: Adopting healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, can be difficult for some individuals, and changing behaviors can be challenging.

Overall, health prevention is a vital aspect of overall health and well-being and plays a crucial role in improving health outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and increasing productivity. Addressing the current challenges in health prevention is essential to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and support they need to maintain good health.

Approximately 75% of adults with diabetes also have hypertension, and up to 40% of adults with diabetes have at least three NCDs.


Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Burden


NCDs account for 71% (41 million) of global deaths each year. Nearly 44% are attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke and ischemic heart disease; 22% to cancer; 9% to chronic respiratory disease; and 4% to diabetes. Around 30% of these deaths are premature, occurring before the age of 70 years.


Much of this premature death is preventable and treatable through multifaceted intervention strategies that can begin with early education.

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One in every four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some stage in life

Mental Health and Neurological conditions

Mental health and neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia cause significant morbidity.


These conditions share many of the same determinants and consequences as the major NCDs. They account for 37% of DALYs for NCDs, with MDD the leading cause in 56 countries.

This has been specifically recognized by the United Nations (UN) in its reference to mental health and well-being in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4. In recent years, a renewed interest in the relationship between MDD and mortality has been driven by the dramatic rise in both the prevalence of MDD and rates of suicide.

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