ABSTRACT: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity are the most serious health problem facing the countries of the Americas in terms of avoidable deaths as well as costs to governments, families, and business. The main causes are ageing of the population, and widespread risks such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol, linked to major changes in the way we live and work, to public policies, cultural norms, and private sector forces. Underlying determinants are globalization, urbanization, poverty, education, gender, ethnicity, and access to health services. Yet, approximately 80% of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and 40% of cancer, are preventable through a range of cost-effective population and individual measures for those at high risk of living with NCDs. However, the multisectoral nature of NCDs requires a cross-sector response to succeed. Several governments have commenced intersectoral efforts, and civil society and private sector also have many initiatives, but the responses are fragmented and skewed. The Partners Forum is being launched by the Pan American Health Organization in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and a set of partners including member states, partners in civil society, and partners in the private sector, as a multisector platform to catalyze, recognize, and scale up collaborative action to promote health and prevent and control NCDs at regional, subregional, and country level. The principles of partnership and lessons learned from other partnership experiences are being used in its design.
Journal of Health Communication 08/2011; 16 Suppl 2:191-200. · 1.61 Impact Factor