Benefits and Costs of the Non-Communicable Disease Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Author: Rachel Nugent


The post-2015 target of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030 is ambitious, but can come close to being reached with increased coverage – especially in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) -- of a handful of cost-effective interventions. NCDs are the largest cause of mortality both globally and in the majority of LMICs. NCD mortality exceeds that of communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions combined. 80% of these deaths (28 million people) occur in LMICs, making NCDs a major cause of poverty and an urgent development issue. Increasing the urgency, it is projected that the NCD burden will rise by 17% globally in the next decade, and by 27% in Africa.

In 2013, The World Health Assembly agreed on a set of global NCD targets and indicators from which the proposed post-2015 targets are drawn. WHO also created a global monitoring framework (GMF) to track progress in preventing and controlling major NCDs - cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes - and their key risk factors. In this paper, we focus on the primary NCD goal of reducing NCD mortality by 25% by 2025 (adapted for the SDG 2030 end date), and the subsidiary GMF targets that reflect high priority diseases and have well-proven, cost-effective interventions available: cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and some cancers. Since most deaths from NCD in high-income countries occur after age 70, the target of a one-third reduction in global premature mortality can only come through dramatic reductions in LMICs, which are therefore our focus.  Read more 




Nugent, R. 2015. Benefits and Costs of the Non-Communicable Disease Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Copenhagen Consensus Center.