The Regional Strategy on an Integrated Approach to the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases Including Diet, Physical Activity, and Health (CD47/17, September 2006), was approved by the PAHO Directing Council at their September meeting. Closely related strategies are the Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on Nutrition in Health and Development, 2006–2015 CD47-18 and the Regional Strategy on Health Promotion CD47-16. In the past year, two other WHO Regions—SEARO and EURO—have also approved chronic disease strategies, so that worldwide momentum is building up.
The goal is to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic diseases and risk factors in the Americas. The target is a 2% annual reduction in death rates from the major chronic diseases, over and above current trends, which will result in the lives of over three million people being saved over the next 10 years, thus enabling them to discharge their social and work-related responsibilities. Globally, WHO has set the target of preventing 36 million deaths over the next 10 years.
The PAHO chronic disease strategy aims to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic diseases and related risk factors in the Americas along four lines of action:
Policy & Advocacy: To promote effective and evidence-based public policies on chronic disease, their risk factors, and determinants (including healthy food choices).
Surveillance: To support the development and strengthening of countries’ capacity for better surveillance of chronic diseases and their risk factors.
Diet and Physical Activity: To promote social and economic conditions that address the determinants of chronic diseases; and empower people to increase control over their health and adopt healthy behaviors; to encourage ecospaces conducive to active living.
Integrated CNCD Management: To strengthen health system capacity and competencies for the integrated management of chronic diseases and their risk factors, with a focus on quality of care.
The CARMEN network, composed of chronic disease program managers from national ministries of health in the Americas along with partner organizations, is the forum through which the chronic disease Regional Strategy is promoted and implemented.
The Partners' Forum is a PAHO initiative to unite the private sector, civil society, and governments to support the implementation of the chronic disease Regional Strategy in an intersectoral manner, working together to change the root causes and conditions that lead to chronic diseases.