Norway is the first country in the world to launch a strategy for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries. The guidance package is titled 'Better health, Better lives' and is set for the period 2020-2024. The strategy is based on the World Health Organization’s recommendations on how to prevent NCDs.
Over 70 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, respiratory disease, diabetes, and mental illness. These diseases are an important cause of premature death in low- and middle-income countries, but only 1-2% of the world’s total health investments today address NCDs. Norway is tripling its contributions to this purpose and will allocate NOK 200 million (US$21 million) for 2020 and increase funding towards 2024.
The strategy addresses three main areas;
- Strengthening primary health care services;
- Preventing risks in air pollution, tobacco, alcohol consumption, and unhealthy foods; and
- Strengthening the normative work and health information systems.