Editorials

The challenge of chronic conditions: WHO responds

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7319.947 (Published 27 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:947

The sooner governments act, the better

  1. JoAnne Epping-Jordan, scientist (Eppingj@who.int),
  2. Rafael Bengoa, director,
  3. Rania Kawar, technical officer,
  4. Eduardo Sabaté, medical officer
  1. Department of Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization, CH-1221 Geneva 27, Switzerland

    Education and debate p 990

    Chronic conditions are expected to become the main cause of death and disability in the world by 2020,1 contributing around two thirds of the global burden of disease with enormous healthcare costs for societies and governments.24 These conditions include non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, chest and heart disease, mental health disorders such as depression, and certain communicable diseases such as HIV infection and AIDS. Mental health problems account for nearly a third of the chronic disability affecting the world's population now and comprise five of the top 10 causes of disability.5 Yet many healthcare providers are ill equipped to manage chronic conditions effectively, and many governments cannot cope with the escalating disease burden and costs.

    Strategies to improve clinical care and outcomes for chronic conditions

    Develop health policies and legislation to support comprehensive care

    Reorganise healthcare finance to facilitate and support evidence based care …

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