Intended for healthcare professionals


Managing chronic diseases in less developed countries

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 26 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:914

Healthy teamworking and patient partnership are just as important as adequate funding

  1. Leslie Swartz (, director,
  2. Judy Dick (, acting director.
  1. Child, Youth, and Family Development, Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X9182, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
  2. Health Systems Research Unit, Medical Research Council, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa

    Education and debate p 958

    Throughout the world, chronic diseases—including non-communicable diseases, long term mental disorders, and persistent communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS—present a huge challenge to health. As part of the response to this challenge, the World Health Organization has conducted a two year review of healthcare models and best practices from around the world and has recently reported on this work. The report, Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions: Building Blocks for Action, provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for the prevention and management of long term illnesses in poorly resourced settings.1 The most fundamental issue highlighted by the report is the pressing need to shift away from an acute, reactive, and episodic model of care.

    Instead, health care should facilitate an ongoing relationship between provider and patient and help patients to make full use of their own and their community's resources for health.2 The focus has …

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