Country assessment to improve noncommunicable diseases outcomes in Belarus

An interdisciplinary team of experts visited Belarus from 28 May to 3 June 2014 to assess health system barriers that prevent core services related to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) from being delivered to the population as well as to identify opportunities to overcome them. During the mission, WHO staff and consultants worked closely with national experts on health systems governance and monitoring, public health services and service purchasing. The mission focussed specifically on cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The mission was conducted as part of a WHO/Europe programme in the area of health system strengthening to improve noncommunicable diseases (NCD) outcomes. The objectives are:

  • to produce pragmatic and actionable policy recommendations on those areas of health system strengthening that would allow accelerating gains in key NCD outcomes in selected countries; 
  • to synthesize knowledge and experience around the Region related to good practices and health system barriers related to health systems and NCDs; and 
  • to build capacity in policy analysis, policy development and implementation through dialogue around health system strengthening for control of NCDs.  

The work starts with country assessments and closes with country-specific policy recommendations, presented in the form of a report that allows countries to build a tailored health system strengthening support programme for the coming years.  

The mission to Belarus was conducted by technical officers Ms Frederiek Mantingh and Dr Maria Skarphedinsdottir and WHO consultants Ms Anne Stæhr Johansen, Professor Arnoldas Jurgutis and Ms Tatiana Elmanova. 

The team's findings will contribute to development of the Belarusian National Action Plan on NCDs envisaged by the biennial collaborative agreement between the Ministry of Health of Belarus and WHO/ Europe for 2014–2015 and to the development of project proposals on health system strengthening for submission to the European Union.