Comunicable and non-communicable diseases
However, the burden of disease in developing countries is still dominated by infectious diseases - all of them so-called diseases of poverty. In fighting communicable diseases, SDC gives priority to prevention while promoting a continuum of prevention to care. SDC concentrates its support on the control of HIV/AIDS, congenital syphilis, Malaria, Polio, Tuberculosis and other contagious and lethal lung diseases. Other major contributors to ill health in developing countries are childhood infectious diseases.
Switzerland has an internationally recognised history in supporting research and implementation of pilot approaches in controlling communicable diseases, mainly in the field of malaria and neglected diseases, such as trypanosomiasis.
For more information on SDC's engagement against HIV/AIDS, please see: Mainstreaming issues: HIV/AIDS
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancers, diabetes, chronic lung diseases and their underlying causes are a growing threat to the health and prosperity of individuals living in all regions of the world. WHO estimates that 63 percent of the 57 million deaths each year are linked to NCDs. What was once considered a burden of the developed world is now disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries, in 2008 accounting for 29 million of the total 36 million NCD-related global deaths. Changing smoking and diet/nutrition habits, urbanisation, social disruption and unhealthy lifestyles - often linked to poverty- are just some of the explaining factors. Accidents and violence are of increasing concern in causing injuries, disabilities and deaths.
This invisible epidemic is a seriously under-appreciated cause of poverty, hindering the economic development of many countries.
The burden is growing – and the number of people, families and communities afflicted constantly increasing. Without an effective response, WHO estimates that by 2030 cardiovascular disease alone will cause more deaths in low- and middle-income countries than the combined number of deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional disorders.
The SDC argues that the causes of non-communicable diseases span many sectors and therefore require a multi-sectoral response that addresses social, economic and environmental health factors as well as financial contributions to multilateral organizations such as the WHO, which has the leading role in organising and coordinating international efforts to combat non-communicable diseases. However, this global strategy is insufficient without national and local involvement. Health decision-makers, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, community groups and individuals must co-ordinate their efforts in order to attenuate the incidence of specific diseases, control the spread and development of complications, and optimize the health management of human and material resources.
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SDC strategy against CD's and NCD's
Considering the level of poverty and the cost of prevention and management of CDs and NCDs, the most affected countries are unable to cope with the burden of disease. For health strategies to be successful, international solidarity and public-private partnerships are needed to tackle the problems of shortage and lack of treatments, resistance, and the need for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic procedures. The SDC supports its partner countries, most of them low-income countries, in their efforts to strengthen their health systems and to help basic health services deal with the so-called “double burden of disease”: coping with the effects of non-communicable and communicable disease as well as maternal, perinatal and nutritional causes of illness. SDC-supported programmes
focus on health promotion and disease prevention as the most cost-effective approach.
promote making early detection and diagnosis accessible to everyone as an integral part of primary healthcare.
test new technologies, such as telemedicine in cancer diagnosis, in remote areas.
consider mental health a non-communicable disease and integrate this much neglected area in bilateral programmes.
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|UN High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases|
Author: Swiss Delegation
A UN High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases took place from the 19th to the 20th of september 2011. Below find the report of the Swiss delegation:
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|Chronic diseases and (public) policy: A global challenge.|
Author: Martin Dahinden
Keynote address at the Swiss Public Health Conference 2011 - 25,26 August, Basel
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|Ist Globalisierung ansteckend? Was haben „Fortschrittskrankheiten“ in den ärmsten Ländern zu suchen?|
Author: SDC, Martin Dahinden
Rede Martin Dahinden, Direktor DEZA am 8. Symposium der schweizerischen Gesundheitszusammenarbeit, Basel, 10. November 2009
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