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Fighting NCDs Can Be Achieved With Low-Cost Interventions

In this Atlantic opinion piece, Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Denizhan Duran, a research assistant at CGD, outline the macro- and microeconomic effects non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can have on countries and families, noting that “80 percent of NCD deaths occur in developing countries, mostly the middle-income countries.” However, they write that NCDs “can be substantially reduced with simple, low or no-cost interventions,” but “middle-income countries are not implementing these simple interventions at scale” for reasons that “have little to do with money.”

“While it would be nice to see the global health funding pie grow (and increase from three percent for NCD prevention), the NCD problem in middle-income countries just isn’t about funding — especially in a time when budget cuts are the norm,” they write, concluding, “Middle-incomes must honestly and rigorously assess whether the human and economic costs of ignoring simple low-cost interventions makes sense, and the international community can help by continuing to collect and publish data on NCDs, establishing specific disease control goals and helping with priority-setting efforts” (9/13).

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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.