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Five minute series: Interview with Sumithra Krishnamurthy and Jesse B. Bump, the authors of Chapter 2

We got a chance to interview Sumithra Krishnamurthy and Jesse B. Bump from Harvard University, authors of Chapter 2 on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), NCD Program Managers, and the Politics of Progress, to find out a bit more about their chapter. Read on to hear more!


Q : Can you please tell us in one sentence what your chapter is about? 


SK: Our chapter investigates perspectives of national NCD actors’ on current challenges and progress achieved in moving NCD action forward. 


JB: We asked NCD managers in ministries of health to explain why the United Nations (UN) resolutions and other global attention to NCDs have translated into so little action on the ground.


Q : So in your opinion, what are the main obstacles to implementing successful NCD Programs? And what are your suggestions for overcoming these obstacles? 


JB: Many NCD risk factors are not easily mitigated by the ministry of health, and even within the ministry we found that the NCD unit typically had only limited influence outside of its own directorate. We recommend some approaches that could lead to greater cooperation on NCDs within the MOH and across the many sectors linked to NCDs.


SK: Our data shows that proof of the high burden of disease caused by NCDs is not enough to automatically result in concerted action. Instead, change requires effective actions at various levels, from policy development to implementation. Global attention should look towards developing more targeted, context-specific know-how to enhance coordination across the breadth of mandates and actors involved in addressing NCDs.

Q : And last but not least why should readers not miss reading this chapter? 


JB: First-hand accounts from ministries about of the difficulties of NCD prevention and control is essential reading for anyone who wants to help national governments turn the tide against the top killers of the 21st century.


SK: Amidst the rising burden of NCDs, this chapter provides a starting point for identifying the “how” and the “why” NCD action has been challenging for national ministries of health in a wide range of countries.


The NCD Prevention: Best Buys, Wasted Buys and Contestable Buys book will be launched on 12th December 2019 (UHC Day). To find out more about the project, please visit https://www.buyitbestncd.health/ and stay tuned for more insights with book authors, editors, and reviewers in the coming weeks.

1 December 2019

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