Grand Challenges in Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases-Priorities for Developing Countries

14 Apr 2008 Grand Challenges In Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases- Priorities For Developing Countries Chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs- which include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and type 2 diabetes) are increasing rapidly throughout the world and are reaching epidemic proportions in many countries. They account for 60 % of all deaths (and 44% of premature deaths) worldwide. 80 % of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries. The number of deaths is double that from infectious diseases (including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined. The risk factors include tobacco use, decreasing physical activity and increasing consumption of unhealthy foods. They exact a huge economic toll. These CNCDs can largely be prevented, yet they have been neglected, particularly in developing countries. Without concerted action, some 388 million people will die of one or more CNCD in the next 10 years. With concerted action, we can avert at least 36 million deaths by 2015. I will report on our work published in Nature (see below) in November 2007 that used the Delphi method and a global panel of experts to identify 6 goals, 20 Grand Challenges for both science and policy, and 39 research questions that need to be addressed to solve the Grand Challenges. I will also highlight the newly established Grand Challenges Global Partnership and its work. Daar AS, Singer PA, Persad D, et al. Grand Challenges in Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases. Nature. November 2007. Vol 450, pp. 494-496 Lessons from Health Biotechnology Innovation Systems of Emerging Economies Over the past few years we have undertaken a number of major studies of health biotechnology innovation systems, starting at national levels in Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, India, China (and South Korea for comparison). More recently we have been studying the role of the private sector in China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies. From these and other studies empirical case studies we have been able to draw some important lessons, good practices, and recommendations. I will highlight those that are of potential value to the Arab Region Abdallah Daar
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