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Governments, Health Systems Must Support Nurses To Make Progress Against NCDs

Devex: Opinion: How nurses can lead the fight against NCDs
Annette Kennedy, president of the International Council of Nurses and member of the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs

“…Given their long-term nature and complex causes, there is one group of health care professionals that is especially well-placed to managing the challenge of [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)]: Nurses. … With their person-centered approach to care, nurses instinctively put the needs of populations first, not just in a headline-grabbing crisis but also in those that unfold slowly behind-the-scenes, such as NCDs. Equipped with a holistic mindset, nurses can readily contend with the many drivers of NCDs … [The following] are three examples of how nurses are driving progress in disease prevention, health promotion, and treatment. 1. Lead in prevention … 2. Be a trusted coach … 3. Circumvent obstacles … [A]s the burden of NCDs increasingly weighs on countries, governments, and health care, systems must step up their efforts to nurture nurses to fulfill their full potential” (7/5).

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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.