Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes are currently the most common cause of deaths worldwide, and account for around 75 percent of deaths in Switzerland.


The Swiss drug policy – a pioneer model

Packages of drug measures. Switzerland's four-pillar drug policy is still a commendable example for many countries in their approach to drug problems. These are some of the impressive achievements over the last twenty years: open drug scenes have disappeared, while drug-related deaths, the HIV infection rate and drug-related crime have all decreased and public safety has improved. The drug problem has not been solved, but Switzerland has found a pragmatic, healthoriented and humane approach to the drug problem. The third package of drug measures expired at the end of 2016. As part of the National Addiction Strategy, which includes all types of addiction, the four-pillar drug policy will be developed further into the four-pillar addiction policy. more


Looking back, looking ahead: The National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity

National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity (NPDPA 2008–2016). Enjoying life has a lot to do with nutrition and physical activity, because people who eat a balanced diet and get plenty of physical activity are providing a solid basis for their health, and feel good at the same time. The NPDPA was aimed at encouraging the Swiss population to live a healthy and more enjoyable lifestyle, and at providing conditions that would make this possible. A great deal has been achieved, and useful approaches will be continued and developed further with the new strategy on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). more


Making prevention an integral part of healthcare

Prevention in healthcare. In its Health2020 strategy, the Swiss Federal Council made the development and implementation of a strategy non-communicable diseases a priority in its healthcare policy. Strategic objectives and associated measures were drawn up, together with the addiction strategy and the mental health programme, and approved in late 2016 by the Federal Council and the National Health Policy Dialogue. Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases can be further improved thanks to these measures. One of the main issues underlying the NCD strategy is to improve integration of prevention into healthcare, in order to curb the increasing incidence of chronic diseases as well as further cost increases. But how can this be done? What has been done so far to improve it? And is it possible to estimate the future benefits? more


Straight from the source

Editorial Eva Bruhin. The WHO estimates that more than 50 % of chronic diseases could be prevented (or at least delayed) by preventive measures. About 2 million people are affected in Switzerland. The direct healthcare costs of these diseases amounted to 51.7 billion Swiss francs in 2011, or 80 % of total healthcare expenditure – and these costs are rising. more


"Interprofessional collaboration requires that responsibilities are clarified."

Interprofessional collaboration. Interprofessional collaboration will play an increasingly important role in healthcare and prevention. Claudia Galli, President of the Swiss Federation of Professional Healthcare Organisations (SVBG), has agreed to outline the views of the healthcare professions in her responses to our questions. more


"Girasole" pilot project

Girasole. In October 2016, the first patients were enrolled in the canton of Ticino's "Girasole" pilot project. The aim of this two-year project, supported by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), is to reduce risk factors for non-communicable diseases in adult patients consulting their General Pracitioner (GP). Here, physical activity is defined as a key element, and motivational interviewing is central to the intervention. The project is being conducted under the new National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD Strategy), adopted by the Federal Council in April 2016. more


"Girasole" pilot project

Infograph. Girasole (sunflower) is a pilot project jointly developed by the Canton of Ticino and the FOPH. The main aim of this project is to promote behavioural change in patients who are at increased risk for non-communicable diseases (due to a non-balanced diet, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, or lack of exercise). Particular emphasis is placed on the promotion of physical activity. General practitioners employ the two interventional techniques of motivational interviewing and shared decision-making, permitting higher-quality interaction with patients. With the aid of these techniques, doctors motivate, support and encourage their patients to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, provided that the latter wish to achieve behavioural change of this kind. At the same time, patients knowledge and health literacy is enhanced. more


Prevention rather than cure: National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases

Prevention. The Swiss government and cantons have approved a national strategy for preventing and combating non-communicable diseases. Some 2.2 million people in Switzerland currently suffer from one or more chronic diseases, generating around 80 percent of the country's entire health-related costs. The objective of the strategy is to prevent or delay the development of conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and to mitigate their consequences. It builds on existing prevention activities and bundles the resources of all the players involved. Appropriate measures will be drawn up by the end of the year. more


«People make behavioural choices, we cannot deny that. But the creation of the environment is part of the State’s responsibility.»

Interview with Gauden Galea. Federal and Cantonal authorities joined Swiss Health Promotion on June 22nd at the NCD Stakeholders' Event to present and discuss a draft for a National Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention Strategy. Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Lifecourse, WHO Regional Office for Europe, travelled from Copenhagen in order to show admiration for the Swiss model from the international perspective. Galea had special praise for the integrative aspects of the Swiss Strategy Draft, its solid basis on evidence, emphasis on prevention, and inclusion of economically disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups. He also commends the consultative and participatory process. more


WHO physical activity strategy launched

WHO/Europe. In September, the WHO Regional Office for Europe approved the physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016-2025 – the WHO's first ever strategy on physical activity. Its target is to bring about a 10% reduction in physical inactivity among the population of Europe by 2025. Switzerland has played a major role in developing the WHO strategy and has already been active for years in the five priority areas that the WHO has defined. What are the WHO's goals and what has Switzerland already achieved in this respect? A comparison. more