The burdens of NCD
“Non-Communicable Diseases” or NCD such as diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes have substantial health and economic impacts. Non-Communicable Diseases impact on wages, workforce participation, labor productivity and hours worked. Often, NCD contribute to early retirement, high job turnover and disability. Expenditure on NCD treatment and long-term rehabilitative care is also rising across developed and developing countries and consumes increasing portions of public and private budgets. Consequently, there is now increasing global attention towards the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD).
Figure adapted from Ferguson T. Consumer health informatics. Healthcare Forum.
Despite various Government programmes that promotes wellness and healthy living, the prevalence of NCD and NCD risk factors continue to rise. The proportion of undiagnosed diabetics and hypertensive patients is also high, even with the increasing availability and accessibility to health screenings. It is no longer adequate to continue increasing health promotion and health education programmes and activities without changes in our environment. Hence, we have to act now to prevent our loved ones or ourselves suffering from disability and premature deaths due to NCD. One of the best actions is to leverage on Information and Communication Technology.