Select a global health issue affecting the international health community. Briefly describe the global health issue and its impact on the larger public health care systems (i.e., continents, regions, countries, states, and health departments). Discuss how health care delivery systems work collaboratively to address global health concerns and some of the stakeholders that work on these issues. Resources within your text covering international/global health, and the websites in the topic materials, will assist you in answering this discussion question.

The global health issue I have chosen to discuss is the high burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on the international health community. Non-communicable diseases refer to a group of chronic diseases that are not caused by infectious agents and include conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

Non-communicable diseases are a significant public health concern worldwide, affecting individuals, communities, and whole populations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs account for approximately 70% of global deaths, with a significant proportion occurring in low- and middle-income countries. These diseases pose a substantial burden on public health care systems, as they require long-term management and treatment and can result in significant health complications and premature mortality.

The impact of NCDs on public health care systems is multi-faceted. Firstly, the economic burden of these diseases is immense. The costs associated with treating NCDs, including hospitalization, medication, and preventive interventions, can be exorbitant, putting a strain on already limited health care resources. This burden is particularly pronounced in low- and middle-income countries, where health care infrastructures may be weak and underfunded. As a result, the ability to adequately care for individuals with NCDs may be compromised, leading to poorer health outcomes and increased mortality rates.

Furthermore, the high prevalence and associated costs of NCDs can divert resources and attention away from other pressing health issues, such as infectious diseases or maternal and child health. This imbalance in resource allocation may have detrimental effects on the overall health of populations, as preventive measures and interventions for communicable diseases may be neglected, leading to potential outbreaks and increased morbidity and mortality.

Addressing the global burden of non-communicable diseases requires a collaborative effort from multiple stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. Health care delivery systems must work together to develop comprehensive strategies that encompass prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation for NCDs.

One approach to addressing NCDs is through the implementation of public health policies and interventions aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors. These may include initiatives to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption, improve diet and nutrition, promote physical activity, and increase access to screening and early detection services. Health departments at various levels, from national to local, play a critical role in developing and implementing these policies, as well as coordinating efforts with other sectors such as education, transportation, and urban planning to create a supportive environment for healthy living.

Another important aspect of addressing NCDs is the provision of accessible and affordable health care services. This requires strengthening health care systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, to ensure that individuals with NCDs have access to quality and affordable care. This may involve expanding primary health care services, training health care providers in the management of NCDs, and implementing strategies to reduce the cost of essential medications for chronic diseases.

In addition to government and health care providers, international organizations such as the WHO and NGOs also play a crucial role in addressing the global burden of NCDs. The WHO provides technical guidance and support to countries in developing national policies and strategies for NCD prevention and control. NGOs, on the other hand, may focus on advocacy, community engagement, and providing direct services to individuals affected by NCDs.

In conclusion, the high burden of non-communicable diseases poses significant challenges for public health care systems worldwide. The economic burden, diversion of resources, and impact on overall population health necessitate a collaborative response from various stakeholders. Governments, health departments, international organizations, and NGOs must work together to develop comprehensive strategies that encompass prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation for NCDs. By addressing the global burden of non-communicable diseases, health care delivery systems can mitigate their impact and improve the health outcomes of individuals and communities.