Kazakhstan intensifies policy actions to respond to noncommunicable diseases


Health officials from regional health institutions and public health councils in Kazakhstan met with senior managers from arm’s-length institutions in a 1-day workshop in Astana. The workshop took place in the context of policy and institutional reforms working to instil a population health management approach for public health services. Led by the Minister of Health, Dr Yelzhan Birtanov, the workshop drew upon results of a health system assessment conducted by WHO/Europe in 2016, focusing on strengthening the system’s response to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

The workshop aimed to validate results of the assessment, to take stock of the country’s advancements on health system strengthening and to identify future areas of collaboration between WHO and the Ministry of Health. Following the event, the WHO delegation discussed priority areas of collaboration with the Republican Centre for Health Development and visited the Republican Centre for e-Health.

Priority areas to accelerate progress in responding to the burden of NCDs include reviewing early-detection and screening programmes; addressing the disproportionate rates of avoidable deaths among men of working age, especially from cardiovascular diseases; developing public health capacity to tackle tobacco, alcohol, salt and transfats consumption; as well as strengthening surveillance of NCD risks factors; monitoring and evaluation; identifying and addressing health inequalities; integrating the management of hypertension and cardiovascular risk stratification in primary care; advancing the e-health agenda; empowering patients to manage their chronic conditions; and implementing continuous learning processes to ensure a competent health workforce.

WHO supports Kazakhstan in its endeavours to transform services delivery towards a more people-centred approach.