In line with its global strategy for health, nutrition, and population, the World Bank Group provides financing, state-of-the-art analysis, and policy advice to help countries expand access to quality, affordable health care; protects people from falling into poverty or worsening poverty due to illness; and promotes investments in all sectors that form the foundation of healthy societies.
Read More »
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the
main cause of death and disability in Central America.
However, communicable diseases and maternal and child
conditions remain... Show More + important causes of death and disability
as well as injuries. With the aging of the population and
improvements in the control of infectious diseases, the
share of NCDs in the total burden of disease is likely to
increase. However, in Central America these diseases cause
death at a much younger age than in higher-income countries.
It is critical to prevent and control NCDs, both for their
impact on health, as well as the economy. When not
controlled, they can cause costly hospitalizations and large
productivity losses due to absenteeism, disability and
premature deaths. Finally, they can impoverish households
hit by out-of-pocket payments for health services and drugs.
A large share of NCDs can be prevented since they result
from exposure to health risk factors such as unhealthy
diets, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and the harmful use
of alcohol. Central Americans have very high caloric diets
that are rich in sodium and refined sugars, and lifestyles
that often involve low levels of physical activity.
Similarly, large shares of youth in some of the countries
smoke, while alcohol consumption among drinkers and the
frequency of binge drinking in Nicaragua and Guatemala are
very high. Although all countries in the region have
introduced multi-sectoral interventions to prevent NCD risk
factors, much remains to be done: for example, countries
have been more successful controlling smoking than
addressing physical inactivity, alcohol abuse and poor
diets. The role of the health sector is central to
preventing NCDs: It needs to ensure their surveillance,
along with the risk factors. In addition, the sector needs
to ensure that effective multi-sectoral efforts to prevent
these conditions take place. Show Less -
Type: Working Paper
Date: March 1, 2012
Chacin, Maria Eugenia Bonilla ;
Vasquez, Luis T. Marcano