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Innovation, Partnerships, Political Will Crucial For Continuing Progress Against Infectious Diseases, Addressing Rising NCDs

New Dawn Liberia: Confronting the Next Global Health Challenge
Jörg Reinhardt, chair of the Novartis Board of Directors

“…[W]hile mortality rates from infectious diseases are declining, developed countries’ sedentary lifestyles, tobacco use, and poor diets are catching on in the developing world, and [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are increasing at an alarming rate. … The challenge for governments and global health agencies is to continue making progress against infectious diseases, while also addressing the rising NCD threat. Fortunately, we can apply lessons from the successful fight against infectious diseases to the emerging fight against NCDs. … For starters, we need innovation. … Beyond innovation, we need strong partnerships to manage NCDs and ensure that patients have access to the treatment they need. … A third lesson to take from the fight against infectious diseases is that political commitment is crucial. … Through innovation, dynamic partnerships to strengthen health systems, and political will, the world can sustain the gains made against infectious disease, while also effectively combating NCDs” (February 2017).

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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.