The National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases
Non-communicable diseases represent a major public health problem. Those diseases, mainly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases contribute to the majority of causes of death and constitute a major burden for socio-economic development especially in developing countries like Iraq. Non-communicable diseases are chronic in nature and may not cure, however, existing evidence indicates that these disease are largely preventable by means of effective intervention that tackle their shared contributory risk factors and the underlying social determinants. In addition, early detection and proper management of such diseases can reduce morbidity and premature death and may improve the quality of life. The global response through the last decade was represented by endorsement of the Global Strategy for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in addition to a number of mandates as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2003) and the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (2004). In 2008 the Strategic Action Plan for the Global Strategy for Prevention and Control of NoncommunicableDiseases was endorsed. Finally, the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases was adopted in 2011. Current Situation In Iraq Iraq, like many developing countries is undergoing a transitional epidemiological period with increasing burden of Non communicable diseases and their contributory risk factors. The Ministry of Health statistics indicate that the four major chronic non-communicable diseases cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,cancers and chronic respiratory diseases contribute to around 50% of total mortality. Around 30% of these deaths occur before the age of 60.