A critical review of addressing cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases through a primary health care approach in the South-East Asia Region
Non-communicable diseases (NCDS) are responsible for almost two-thirds of all deaths in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Among the NCDs, reduction of CVD mortality, which accounts for almost half of all NCD mortality, must be considered as a priority. The eleven countries in the Region have committed to achieve the universal health and NCD health service access targets; its achievements will depend on the ability and the comprehensiveness of the primary health care systems to deliver the services. While most countries have made a solid beginning to integrate services for basic management of the four major NCD (CVDs, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancers) into primary health care services, a rapid consolidation and expansion should be undertaken along with the steps to improve access to essential medicines and diagnostics. Strengthening primary health care services in the Region has become ever more urgent to address the evolving NCD health care needs of populations and achieve the 25 by 25 NCD global voluntary targets and 2030 United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).