The values that inspire our programming principles are those of health as a basic human right, enshrined originally in the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights. A challenge as extensive as NCDs needs an equally far-reaching strategy: nothing less than the creation of a people-centered “NCD Movement” to bring about the wide-scale changes that are needed. Gender, age, social and geographical considerations are vital to ensure that practical approaches are relevant to specific contexts.
While we support all efforts that enable the making of healthy public policy and lifestyle choices such as WHO’s “best buys” in NCDs, our own attention is centered on people who are currently suffering from NCDs. They are in two categories: firstly, those who are diagnosed with NCDs but not receiving any or adequate treatment and care according to WHO norms and standards; and, secondly, the majority, who are undiagnosed.
Both groups are at risk of premature death and catastrophic decline in the quality of their lives that, in turn, also generate serious consequences for their families, communities, and nations. Human compassion dictates that their unmet needs be tackled with urgency. Concurrently, we know from experience that people with NCDs are themselves the best-placed advocates for primary risk reduction changes in society. Enabling their voice to be heard loud and clear is, for us, also a ”best buy”.
Thus, the scaling-up of effective screening and treatment provision is at the core of our initial programming strategy. We do this firstly, by demystifying and democratising the knowledge that underpins this so that people with diabetes and hypertension are enabled to recognise when they need treatment. We also do this so that they are empowered to seek effective and sympathetic support from accessible and well-trained healthcare providers who have the necessary diagnostics, medicines, and equipment to do their job. Nationally led healthcare systems and provisioning are vital to sustain this. Second, we stimulate innovations that can systematically reduce the costs and other obstacles that hinder access to quality treatment and care.