Macroeconomic impacts of cardiovascular disease prevention in developing countries

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are responsible for a large share of early deaths and disability globally. Developing countries, due to the ongoing epidemiological transition, face a dual burden of both communicable and chronic diseases including CVD. This puts a tremendous strain on their already stretched health systems. The effect of the growing burden of disease due to CVD is not limited to the health sector alone but threatens the macro economy in developing countries.


Formative research from developing countries such as India suggests that policy makers and programme managers do not perceive non communicable diseases as a major problem and continue to be focussed on the unfinished agenda of pre transitional disease, such as infections and under nutrition. A strong and attractive argument for them is the economic benefits that accrue from postponing and reducing the CVD burden. The project therefore proposed to increase the awareness of adverse micro and macro economic consequences of CVD by strengthening technical capacity in and implementing primary preventive activities at the community and society level to reduce the burden of disease due to CVDs in developing countries.


Objectives of this project included:

  • To conduct awareness campaigns and workshops on the adverse macro and micro economic consequences of CVDs in developing countries aimed at policy makers and programme managers;

  • To develop and disseminate a user friendly resource kit targeted at policy makers, program managers and top management of industries to make them aware about the risk of CVD and how they can introduce simple programs to reduce the risk of CVD in community and workforce settings;

  • To build research capacity to undertake advocacy to promote policies which bring about behaviour change related to CVD risk factors.



Workshops on Capacity Strengthening of Policy Makers and Programme Managers for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases:


In East & Central Africa

On April 29th - 1st May 2009, a workshop on Capacity Strengthening of Policy Makers and Programme Managers for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in East & Central Africa was held in Zanzibar with participants and representatives from eight African countries. The workshop had four main objectives:

  • To review existing data available on NCDs in Africa;

  • To review the existing National NCD strategies and implementation in East and central Africa;

  • To share information on and disseminate different community interventions to reduce NCDs;

  • To develop strategies to have NCDs integrated at various levels of the health care system and other stakeholders.

This workshop resulted in the identification of key priorities and recommendations to move forward in the Prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases in East and Central Africa.

Download the workshop programme and the workshop summary.


In China

On July 6th - 7th 2009, a second workshop was organized in Beijing, China. Twenty programme managers on the prevention of non-communicable diseases, physicians, researchers, public health specialists and postgraduate students participated in the workshop.

The H1N1 influenza outbreak government containment measures limited participation to the workshop. A follow-up capacity building workshop in a north-west province of China, less developed area in China, is therefore planned.


In India

A third workshop was organized in New Dehli, India, in collaboration with the WHO-India office and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). This capacity building workshop, for state level programme managers of the newly launched ‘National Program on Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke', emphasized the need for cardiovascular disease management based on evidence and provided detailed training on guideline-based management of chronic conditions at various levels of care.

Download the report of the workshop.


A user friendly kit targeted at policy makers, programme managers and top management of industries

A user friendly kit was developed to raise awareness around the risk of cardiovascular diseases and to be a tool to reorient the health system and formulate cardiovascular diseases control strategies and programmes in-country.

A cardiovascular disease prevention and control intervention package on introducing simple programmes and lifestyle intervention measures to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote health in the community and workforce settings was developed. The details of the interventions have been published:


A Comparative Study of Macro-Economic Impact of Chronic Diseases in Selected Low and Middle Income Countries and the United States of America

The Initiative for Cardiovascular Health Research in the Developing Countries (IC-Health), with the support from the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Cooperative Agreement, conducted a multi-country study that assesses the macroeconomic consequences of chronic diseases. The study compares examples of selected low and middle income countries with the United States on the economic impact of chronic diseases.