2023/07/10 Tackling NCDs: 'best buys' and other recommended interventions for the prevention and control of non

The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided policymakers with a concise and comprehensive list of recommended interventions, known as the 'NCD best buys', to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This list focuses on four key risk factors (tobacco use, harmful alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity) and four disease areas (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease). NCDs pose a significant challenge globally, causing over 36 million deaths each year, with low-income countries being particularly affected. The document presents a range of "best buys" and cost-effective interventions, totaling 88 options, aimed at guiding policymakers in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 and improving global health.

The recently expanded set of cost-effective interventions to combat NCDs now recommends 112 interventions and enabling actions, up from 88 in the previous update of 2017. This updated list was approved at the 76th World Health Assembly and aims to assist governments in selecting life-saving interventions and policies to tackle NCDs, which are among the leading causes of death worldwide. The new additions include secondary prevention measures for rheumatic fever, management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and various cancer control interventions targeting cervical, breast, colorectal, liver, and childhood cancer. It also emphasizes comprehensive treatment for cancer patients living with HIV.

*The latest revision of the list reflects WHO's up-to-date recommendations, guidance, and the latest scientific evidence regarding the impact of the interventions. It is an integral part of the NCDs Global Action Plan 2023-2030 and plays a central role in the Implementation Roadmap on NCDs. Each revision takes into account new WHO normative and standard-setting products, as well as emerging evidence and data, to expand and update the interventions in line with evolving global health priorities.

These interventions offer valuable support to countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one third through prevention, treatment, and the promotion of mental health and well-being worldwide by 2030. By implementing these interventions, countries can accelerate national efforts to prevent and control NCDs, ultimately reducing suffering and preventing deaths. Additionally, these interventions pave the way for political commitment and action at the fourth High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2025.

Countries have the flexibility to select interventions from the provided list based on their specific national context. When making these choices, they should consider factors such as alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, engagement of relevant sectors (such as health, trade, commerce, and finance), and the potential co-benefits for their national responses. Economic analyses accompanying the interventions offer insights into cost-effectiveness and implementation details. However, it is crucial to also take into account the local context and consider non-economic factors such as the health impact, sustainability, equity, and the need for multisectoral actions. By considering these elements, countries can make informed decisions and tailor their approach to effectively address NCDs and improve public health outcomes.