Developing strategy to combat NCDs is vital, says minister

[28-09-2021 11:27 AM]

Ammon News - Minister of Health Firas Hawari stressed the importance of preventing and combating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by taking swift and effective measures, namely developing a strategy and action plans, with the participation of stakeholders, Jordan News Agency Petra reported.

The minister also stressed the importance of strengthening the NCDs monitoring and control system at all levels of health services, improving NCDs programs at the primary health care level, and implementing preventive measures that promote a healthy lifestyle, which would have a positive impact on reducing morbidity and mortality rates in the Kingdom, and paves the way for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Hawari made the remarks during a dialogue session organized the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), to discuss the situation of non-communicable diseases in Jordan, in light of the results of a recent national survey, according to Petra.

The Jordan National Stepwise Survey (STEPs) survey, which monitored NCDs and their associated risk factors, was carried out by the Ministry of Health last year in cooperation with the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, with technical support from WHO, and funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The survey indicated high prevalence of NCDs, primarily cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and mental disorders, as well as their risk factors such as smoking, obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

The session included discussions between relevant partners to identify national priority strategic interventions for reducing NCDs in line with the four main areas stipulated in the regional framework for action to implement the United Nations Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which Jordan is committed to achieving. These four areas are governance, prevention and reduction of risk factors, health care, and surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

In her opening speech, Acting WHO Representative to Jordan Jamela Al Raiby pointed to the increasing rates of morbidity and mortality due to NCDs and their associated risk factors globally and in Jordan alike. She stressed the possibility of preventing NCDs and mitigating their impact on public health through active involvement of all sectors and through an integrated governmental and societal approach.

"It is very important to translate the results and recommendations of the latest national STEPwise survey into actionable interventions in line with updated scientific evidence and approved health standards," she noted, highlighting the importance of identifying the needs necessary to effectively implement these measures in coordination with all relevant partners.

USAID Public Health Office Director John Mckay said: "USAID is proud to support the Ministry of Health to promote healthy lifestyles and public health in Jordan. We value our longstanding partnership with the Government of Jordan by collecting and analyzing key data needed for decision-making in the health sector.’"

"NCDs are risk factors for COVID-19, which highlights the need for a preventive approach that cannot be addressed unless accurate data of the risk factors are available. This validates the importance of this survey and data in implementing smart policy measures to reduce disease incidence and deaths in Jordan," McKay pointed out.

Zaid Eyadat, Vice President of International Affairs, Quality and Accreditation at the University of Jordan and Director of the Center for Strategic Studies pointed out in his speech the importance of joint cooperation between research centers, government institutions and international organizations in the field of health research, to guarantee the highest levels of professionalism in the practical and research application of studies whose outputs form the basis for NCD plans and decisions at the national level.

In the field of public policies, the center established the Public Policy Forum which tackles several areas, the most important of which is the Health Policy Forum. Eyadat affirmed that the center looks forward to more partnerships with various governmental and international parties to work on studies that achieve the public benefit of the citizens and the Jordanian state.

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