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Am J Prev Med. 2005 Dec;29(5 Suppl 1):102-6.

Integrated population-based surveillance of noncommunicable diseases: the Pakistan model.

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Heartfile, Islamabad, Pakistan.


The escalating burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide warrants an urgent public health response. Resource constraints and other factors necessitate an integrated and concerted approach to the range of NCDs. A necessary prerequisite for effective planning, implementation, and evaluation of NCD prevention programs is access to reliable and timely information on mortality, morbidity, risk factors, and their socioeconomic determinants. However, there is limited experience in the setting up of integrated NCD surveillance models in low-resource settings. As part of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs in Pakistan, an integrated, systematic, and sustainable population-based NCD surveillance system is being established, and will be maintained and expanded over time. This is a common population surveillance mechanism for all NCDs (with the exception of cancer). The model includes population surveillance of main risk factors that predict many NCDs and combines modules on population surveillance of injuries, mental health, and stroke. In addition, the model has been adapted for program evaluation; this will enable it to track implementation processes using appropriate indicators, facilitating an assessment of how interventions work and which components contribute most to success. This paper outlines the first activity in this sequential process, including its merits and limitations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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