However Ethiopia is addressing this situation head on
However, Ethiopia is addressing this situation head-on. To increase access to oxygen and pulse oximetry, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MOH) has responded by undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning process captured as a roadmap for oxygen and pulse oximetry scale-up. A national technical working group has been formed to support the coordination, planning, and implementation of the roadmap. This is a formidable commitment benefiting from the strong coordination of the Ethiopian MOH and setting the stage for ongoing improvement to the quality of care within the primary health care unit—a core pillar of the country\'s national Health Sector Transformation Plan. To support the Ethiopian MOH, international and local partners are planning activities focused on establishing a supply chain of oxygen and oximetry commodities as well as appropriate policies and guidelines, training, and behaviour change programmes, accompanied by monitoring, learning and evaluation plans, and advocacy efforts. Even when oxygen and oximetry are available, reported therapeutic use for childhood pneumonia can be low, with common barriers including insufficient supply; calculate molarity for use; lack of policies, guidelines, and training; and perceived high cost. A broadly engaged effort is therefore required to ensure appropriate and safe use of oxygen services at each suitable facility level commensurate with the proper systems in place, including trained staff, adequate electricity, and demand for services across multiple indications.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan has noted that “efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators”. Selling processed food and drink, alcohol, and tobacco is big business and demand is booming, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. There has always been critical public health analysis of the power of the corporate sector— especially in the field of tobacco—and attention has turned to other areas in recent years, including work on unhealthy commodities, industrial epidemics, profit-driven diseases, and corporate practices harmful to health. The focus on lifestyle choices has also been extensively critiqued, especially in relation to marketing to children.
All around the world private enterprises influence health through the sale of both harmful and health-promoting commodities, as well as lobbying and marketing activities. As globalisation further strengthens the role of the private sector as a major driver of the non-communicable disease (NCD) pandemic, engaging with the private sector to prevent and control these conditions has become increasingly important. In recognition of this fact, the 2011 UN High-Level Political Declaration on NCDs called on the private sector to take action in areas such as promoting healthy workplaces, improving affordability and access to medicines, and reformulating unhealthy food products. In 2014, Ministers at the UN General Assembly noted that limited progress had been made in these areas. The 67th World Health Assembly established a working group (under the auspices of the Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs) to develop more granular recommendations for governments. This Comment provides an overview of these recommendations, which are described in detail in its full report.
Despite multiple global and regional commitments and action plans, progress in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is inadequate. Maintaining the current state of affairs means that achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) NCD target, a 30% reduction in premature mortality by 2030, is unlikely. The Pacific region is at the centre of the global NCD crisis, which is straining health systems and budgets and diverting scarce resources away from other health and development priorities. A 2016 Pacific NCD Summit, instigated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Kingdom of Tonga to accelerate action on the crisis facing all 22 Pacific Island Countries and Territories, provided several lessons on how to accelerate progress. Here we present four recommendations that emerged from the Summit, to offer a blueprint for countries in moving forward.