Side Meetings


Addressing the Health and Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases: Innovations and Lessons from Select Middle and High Income Countries


  • 09:00 - 12:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : Lotus Suite 12

  • Contact Person : Christopher Herbst,

  • World Bank Group

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and mental and neurological conditions – are the leading causes of global death and disease worldwide, and a major contributor to health expenditure due to their chronic nature. NCDs are responsible for over half of the global burden of disease and for over 70% of all global deaths. NCDs not only place a significant burden on population health, but also on economic and social development. Indeed, NCDs lead to high treatment costs, imposing a direct economic burden on health systems, households, and society as a whole. NCDs also impose an indirect economic burden through significant productivity losses via premature mortality, early labor force exits, absenteeism, and work at lowered capacity.

Most noncommunicable diseases are the result of four particular behaviors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol) that lead to four key metabolic/physiological changes (raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, raised blood glucose and raised cholesterol). Environmental Risk factors, in particular air pollution, household air pollution (especially from inefficient cookstoves), exacerbate one or more major NCDs.

Many of the most significant risk factors of NCDs – lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, tobacco, and alcohol, but also air pollution – are preventable. But they are also major profit-drivers for some of the world's biggest companies.  Effectively targeting the behavioral (and commercial), as well as environmental risk factors of NCDs, through multisectoral cost effective and inclusive approaches, is thus essential to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goal to improve health and economic well-being for all.

The objectives of this half-day side session, organized by sector specialists and economists from the World Bank, is to take stock of the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from addressing NCDs in select middle and high income countries in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe.