Non-Communicable (Chronic) and Communicable Diseases
Prevalence of Diseases
The prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) related death varies from country to country based on the efficacy of the available measures for responding to NCDs. A comparison was conducted across four countries namely Guatemala, Indonesia, the United States of America, and France. From the results, it was established that the percentage of deaths occurring in developed countries as a result of the NCDs was higher than those that occurred in the developing countries. In Guatemala, only 47% of the deaths were from NCDs; in Indonesia, 71% of deaths resulted from NCDs; the percentage was 87 and 88 for France and USA respectively. Contrariwise, there were fewer deaths resulting from communicable diseases in the developed countries compared to developing countries. In France and USA, the rates of communicable disease-related deaths were 6% and 6% respectively. On the other hand, 34% of deaths resulted from communicable diseases in Guatemala, while Indonesia had 22% of deaths from communicable diseases.
Besides the death rates, there were also slight differences between the countries in terms of trends in various health indicators including blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels. These indicators are related. For instance, the rates of diabetes as indicated in the report can be used as an indicator of cholesterol levels. Across the four countries, the rates of cholesterol, therefore, increased slightly over the years under consideration. The percentage of deaths from diabetes related conditions was higher in the developing countries than in the developed countries with France recording the least values. The trends in risk factors for the various conditions also point to the probability of non-communicable disease related death. For instance, the rates of high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity were significant in 2008, particularly in the developed countries. The levels of obesity indicate the BMI averages in the respective countries. The rate of obesity was highest in the USA in 2008, and has been increasing as indicated by the deaths related to cardiovascular diseases. Guatemala and Indonesia had average rates of obesity while France had the lowest, indicating the lowest average BMI among the four countries.
The most probable reason for the differences in NCD rates across the four countries is the differences in the infrastructures available for responding to NCDs. The developed countries seem to have taken greater care to ensure communicable diseases are prevented. Among the four countries, the US has the best infrastructure, followed by Indonesia, then Guatemala and lastly France. The key metrics used in evaluation include the availability of a monitoring and surveillance system that can be used to report NCD prevalence against the nine global targets; availability of an operational NCD department within the health ministry; availability of a multi-sectoral policy that integrates NCD management with other health sectors; and operational plans to reduce tobacco consumption among others.
Key Messages from the Data
From the data examined, various lessons can be adopted and probably applied to healthcare management in developing countries. One of the key messages is that NCDs are manageable. The prevalence of NCD related deaths in the developing countries is an indication that with significant efforts, it is possible to manage NCDs through effective lifestyle change. Practices such as smoking cessation campaigns, alcohol consumption reduction campaigns and efforts by governments to put up requisite infrastructures cam help to manage chronic diseases across all countries (Gutierrez et al., 2018). Juma and Wisdom (2018) pointed out that the different non-communicable diseases share common risk factors.
While addressing the concern around non- communicable diseases is important, it is also necessary to address the menace of communicable diseases The evidence from developed countries is an indication that effective strategies can be put in place to help curb communicable diseases across populations. Preventing communicable diseases requires more intensive care. Detailed information on the principles of controlling communicable diseases need to be shared by healthcare organizations through nurses. Recommended practices include rapid assessment during emergency situations, identification of communicable disease threats, hygiene in the physical environment, and availability of a working surveillance and early warning system for communicable diseases (Edemekong & Huang, 2019). Furthermore, healthcare practitioners need to invest in adequate outbreak preparedness and rapid response to emergencies. Additionally, prompt diagnosis and treatment is required in such emergency situations.
While the common perception is that NCDs are a developed world problem, the study has shown that the impacts of NCDs are universal. Developing countries have as many deaths resulting from chronic diseases, almost similar to the experiences in some developed countries such as France. Preventive and management measures for NCDs should therefore take into consideration the role of the healthcare professionals in managing chronic diseases even in developing countries. According to Toebes et al. (2017), the prevalence of NCDs in developing and developed countries indicates the need for research on the link between health, science, international relations and environmental management. Similarly, the management of communicable diseases requires the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare, through which the various needs of communities can be identified and addressed.
Edemekong, P.F., & Huang, B. (2019). Epidemiology of prevention of communicable diseases. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470303/
Gutierrez, J., Alloubani, A., Mari, M., & Alzaatreh, M. (2018). Cardiovascular disease risk factors: Hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity among Tabuk citizens in Saudi Arabia. The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal, 12, 41-49. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5925866/pdf/TOCMJ-12-41.pdf
Juma, P.A., & Wisdom, J. (2018). Introduction: Non-communicable disease prevention policies in six African countries. BMC Public Health, 1, 955-956. Retrieved from bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12889-018-5824-8
Toebes, B., Hesselman, M., Van Djik, J.P., & Herman, J. (2017). Curbing the lifestyle disease pandemic: Making progress on an interdisciplinary research agenda for law and policy interventions. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 17(25). Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5604365/pdf/12914_2017_Article_131.pdf