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Chronic diseases have become the largest, most costly health problem facing governments, communities, and companies throughout the Americas. They cause most of the premature deaths in the region and cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually in direct and indirect costs. However, with proven interventions in behavior, health systems, and policy it is possible to prevent 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and 40 percent of cancers.

Risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol affect entire populations. They are deeply embedded in the fabric of our society, determined by causes that lie largely outside the health sector: by the way we live and work and a combination of public policies, private sector forces, civil society, and environmental factors. Thus, reducing these risk factors requires an “all society” approach. Cross-sector partnerships, which combine the resources, competencies and reach of business with those of public health authorities and civil society organizations, can be part of the solution.

Several existing partnerships provide examples of the success and leverage of this type of collaboration.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 04:13

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