Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Four - Taking action: essential steps for success

Chapter One: Providing a unifying framework - the role of government

Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment


This part of the report outlines the steps that ministries of health can follow to implement successfully the interventions presented in Part Three. The opportunity exists to make a major contribution to the prevention and control of chronic diseases, and to achieve the global goal for chronic disease prevention and control by 2015.

Each country has its own set of health functions at national and sub-national levels. While there cannot be a single prescription for implementation, there are core policy functions that should be undertaken at the national level. A national unifying framework will ensure that actions at all levels are linked and mutually supportive. Other government departments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations all have crucial roles to play.

Face to face with chronic disease: cancer

This chapter tells the story of Mariam John, 13 years old from United Republic of Tanzania. In February 2005, soon after her knee started to swell to the point that it became difficult to walk, Mariam was diagnosed with bone cancer. She has been receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment since then – an almost unbearable experience. "I am willing to have my leg amputated if it can take my pain away," she concedes... (page 20).

The stepwise framework

This chapter introduces to the stepwise framework that offers a flexible and practical approach to assist ministries of health in balancing diverse needs and priorities while implementing evidence-based interventions.