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To Address NCDs In Developing Nations, International Community Can Leverage Existing Health Infrastructures Used To Treat, Prevent Infectious Diseases

Washington Post: If we really cared about saving lives in poor countries, we wouldn’t focus only on AIDS
David J. Heller, internist and global health researcher

“…We need to start paying attention [to noncommunicable diseases]. … Fortunately, there are proven, cost-effective ways for the United States and the global development community to respond. And we don’t have to reinvent the wheel; we can leverage the infrastructure we’ve already put in place to take on diseases such as AIDS and malaria. For example, over the past two decades, HIV treatment centers have sprung up across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Treating and preventing HIV at those clinics involves educating communities about healthy lifestyles, testing seemingly healthy people for a silent killer, offering medications to control a chronic condition, and using blood tests to measure progress. This playbook is essentially identical to the way to fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases. … Non-communicable diseases are the health issue of our time, both in developing countries and in the United States. We have the infrastructure and the playbook we need to address these problems” (3/18).

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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.