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Lessons learned from developing a national NCD programme in low- and middle-income countries (Seychelles)
Geneva : World Health Organization
Number of pages
WHO Consultation - Review of International Expertience in NCD Prevention and Control - WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Salle D, April 8-10 2010
This paper identifies selected issues and lessons learned from the implementation of a national program of prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD) during the past 20 years in the Seychelles, a small island state in the African region. As early as in 1989, population-based surveys demonstrated high levels of several cardiovascular risk factors, which prompted an organized response by the government. The early creation of a NCD unit within the Ministry of Health, coupled with cooperation with international partners, enabled incremental capacity building and coherent development of NCD programs and policy. Information campaigns and screening for hypertension and diabetes in work/public places raised awareness and rallied increasingly broad awareness and support to NCD prevention and control. A variety of interventions were organized for tobacco control and comprehensive tobacco control legislation was enacted in 2009 (including total bans on tobacco advertising and on smoking in all enclosed public and work places). A recent School Nutrition Policy prohibits the sale of soft drinks in schools. At primary health care level, guidelines were developed for the management of hypertension and diabetes (these conditions are managed in all health centers within a national health system); regular interactive education sessions were organized for groups of high risk patients ("heart health club"); and specialized "NCD nurses" were trained. Decreasing prevalence of smoking is evidence of success, but the raising "diabesity epidemic" calls for strengthened health care to high-risk patients and broader multisectoral policy to mould an environment conducive to healthy behaviors. Key components of NCD prevention and control in Seychelles include effective surveillance mechanisms supplemented by focused research; generating broad interest and consensus on the need for prevention and control of NCD; mobilizing leadership and commitment at all levels; involving local and international expertise; building on existing efforts; and seeking integrated, multi-disciplinary and multisectoral approaches.
Chronic Disease/prevention & control , Cardiovascular Diseases/prevention & control, Preventive Health Services/organization & administration , National Health Programs , Seychelles
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