Dr. Hadii Mamudu, associate professor in the department of health services management and policy in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, has published on non-communicable disease epidemics in Globalization and Health. The article, “Incorporating a structural approach to reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases,” suggests a need for a structural approach to addressing the epidemic that integrates social science and public health theories.
[Photo: Dr. Hadii Mamudu]
Lead author is Dr. Joshua Yang of California State University and an additional co-author is Dr. Rijo John of the Centre for Public Policy Research in India.
Non-communicable diseases account for over two-thirds of deaths worldwide, and global efforts to address these diseases have accelerated. Current prevention and control efforts rely primarily on individual behavior/lifestyle approaches that place the onus of responsibility for health on the individual. These approaches, however, have not stopped the increasing trend of non-communicable diseases worldwide. The global community has worked through the World Health Organization and the United Nations toward a 25 percent reduction of premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases by 2025.
In the study, the authors evaluate two overarching principles (empowerment and human rights) and three social determinants of health (labor and employment, trade and industry, and macroeconomics) addressed in the 2013 Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases to demonstrate how a structural approach to non-communicable diseases can be incorporated into existing interventions. For each area considered, theoretical considerations for structural thinking are provided and conclude with recommended actions.
The authors conclude that achieving the global health agenda goals of reducing mortality due to non-communicable diseases will require a shift to a paradigm that embraces concerted efforts to address both behavioral/lifestyle factors and structural dimensions of these diseases.