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Improving Global Health Requires Addressing Disparities In Access To Diagnostics, Treatments For NCDs

Project Syndicate: Killing Non-Communicable Diseases
Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH

“…[N]on-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory ailments [are] becoming far and away the world’s leading causes of death. … Consider diabetes, one of the fastest-growing NCDs. … [I]n poorer communities, tools and medicines to diagnose and treat diabetes are scarce and often priced beyond people’s means. … Essential medicines and technologies for diagnosing and treating heart disease, cancer, and respiratory ailments are also significantly less available and proportionally more expensive for people in low- and middle-income countries than they are for those in the rich world. … Unless we take action, the crisis will only become more serious. … Today, just one percent of global health financing goes to NCD-related programs. This must change — and fast. Otherwise, the remarkable gains made in improving global health in the last 25 years will be overwhelmed by a rising tide of people who suffer and die from chronic diseases that we know how to prevent and treat” (9/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.