Where to begin? It is well known that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) receive much less global health funding than other conditions, despite the fact that collectively they remain the largest killers of humans on the planets. If you are reading this, then they will likely kill you. For this and many other reasons, people are starting to wonder why the global health community does not care enough about addressing these issues. One big reason: Addressing the NCDs ain’t going to be cheap.
The Global Health Delivery online community for the endemic non-communicable diseases is currently convening a discussion among a number of panelists about how to fund these challenges. The panelists include Rachel Nugent, now of the University of Washington, Miriam Rabkin, from ICAP and Columbia, Sumi Mehta, from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Brian Bilchik, the Director of ProCor, Charlanne Burke and Robert Marten, from the Rockefeller Foundation and others. If you are not a member of this online community, you can sign up at the above link and join the discussion.
The questions they have been posed include:
• What are some of the financial challenges for governments and international institutions in addressing NCDs?
• What are the donors’ roles regarding NCDs, what should different types of donors be contributing, and how can advocates raise awareness about NCDs funding?
• How might donors work with governments and health implementers to promote NCD prevention, care and treatment? What do we know and what should we know about how service integration and health system strengthening can be used to address NCDs?
• Can you share examples of integrated service delivery, health insurance schemes, or innovative partnerships that offer lessons for NCD program and funding development?
These are tough questions with no easy answers. Donors may play a role but at this point I personally don’t think it is realistic to believe that they are going to be able to dramatically scale up funding to any large degree for these programs – and I am not entirely convinced that they should. Health systems in resource-limited settings are skewed to basic primary care and addressing acute illness so infrastructure investments are going to need to be dramatic. So I am looking forward what these experts have to say.Share on Facebook