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NCD Prevention and Control in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Regional Approach to Policy and Program Development

Authors:

C. James Hospedales ,

Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Alberto Barcelo,

Disease Management, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Silvana Luciani,

Cancer, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Branka Legetic,

Surveillance, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Pedro Ordunez,

Disease Management and Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Adriana Blanco

Tobacco Control, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, US
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Abstract

This article describes efforts from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that have supported progress in country-driven planning and implementing of actions to address noncommunicable diseases (NCD), as well as mechanisms that PAHO has supported for countries in the Americas to share and build on each other’s experiences. The Regional Strategy and Plan of Action for NCD, approved by all member states in 2006, is the major frame for this work. The strategy has 4 lines of action: policy and advocacy; surveillance; health promotion and disease prevention; and integrated management of NCD and risk factors. Cross-cutting strategies include resource mobilization, communication, training, and networks and partnerships. The strategy is operationalized through biannual work plans for which countries link and commit to achieving specific objectives. PAHO then provides technical support toward achieving these plans, and countries report progress annually. The CARMEN (Collaborative Action for Risk Factor Prevention and Effective Management of NCD [Conjunto de Acciones para la Reducción y el Manejo de las Enfermedades No transmisibles]) Network provides a major platform for sharing, and the multisector Pan American Forum for Action on NCD has been launched to extend the network to include business and civil society. PAHO also supported civil society capacity building. Almost all member states have made substantial progress in implementing their national chronic disease programs, in most instances reporting exceeding the indicators of the strategic plan related to chronic diseases. From the Caribbean countries, leadership has been provided to achieve the historic UN High-Level Meeting on NCD in September 2011. The region is on track to meet the mortality reduction target set for 2013, though much remains to be done to further increase awareness of and resources for scaling up NCD prevention and control programs, given the huge health and economic burden, increasing costs, and worrying increases of some conditions such as obesity. Major challenges include getting NCD into social protection packages, building the human resource capacity, strengthening surveillance, achieving true intersectoral and multipartner action, given that most determinants of the epidemic lie outside the health sector, and increasing investment in prevention.

How to Cite: Hospedales CJ, Barcelo A, Luciani S, Legetic B, Ordunez P, Blanco A. NCD Prevention and Control in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Regional Approach to Policy and Program Development. Global Heart. 2012;7(1):73–81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2012.02.002
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Published on 01 Mar 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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