Norway steps up efforts to combat non-communicable diseases in low-income countries

Norway will contribute with an additional amount of almost one billion Danish crowns to reduce the burden of NCDs in low-income countries from 2020 to 2024.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases are the most frequent cause of death in the world. The death count is rising every year especially in low-income countries where there is a lack of capacity and access to diagnosis and treatment. As chronic diseases are often quite serious, people living with NCDs also have a significantly higher risk of becoming extremely ill or die from Covid-19.

Norway has in their efforts to combat non-communicable diseases launched the strategy “Better Health, Better Life” (2020-2024), as we have previously discussed here. The strategy is centered on sustainable development goal (SDG) 3.4: “by 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing”

Norway contributed with approximately 200 million Danish crowns to the NCD cause earlier this year, and the additional funds are thus an additional amount that is to emphasize Norway’s big focus on NCDs.

Their contribution are in extension of their strategy to contribute to strengthening primary health care services, prevention of leading risk factors and strengthen management and health information systems as well as other public health offers.

These actions are not only important in the fight against NCDs but also against Covid-19. A stronger health system and greater access to health data in low-income countries play a vital role when dealing with Covid-19 and other future pandemics.

Norway are yet to announce whom they will be collaborating with. We expect that WHO will get a prominent role, but we also hope that the civil society will be included to a significant extent.