Belarus started country-wide STEPS survey on major noncommunicable diseases


Dr Enrique Loyola, coordinator, Integrated Prevention and Control of NCDs programme, plays the patient during STEPS training.

On 3-7 October 2016 the Belarusian Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Medical Technologies, Informatization, Administration and Management of Health (RSPC MT), in collaboration with WHO, organized a training course for STEPS interviewers and regional coordinators in Minsk, Belarus. STEPS (STEPwise approach to surveillance) survey is a WHO recommended representative study on risk factors of major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).  

The overall objective was to train regional teams of interviewers and regional coordinators on practical aspects of STEPS field-work implementation in Belarus. The Ministry of health, with the support of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the WHO Geographically Dispersed Office (GDO) on noncommunicable diseases in Moscow, Russian Federation, committed to all three phases of STEPS survey. These include:

  • a questionnaire on main risk factors and behavior aspects;
  • physical measurements of blood pressure, weight and height; and
  • the measurement of blood biochemistry in respondents such as blood glucose, cholesterol and sodium in urinalyses.

Representative samples from six thousand respondents will be included in the survey.  

WHO representatives facilitated this training and started the field work of the STEPS survey.

A joint press conference was held on 7 October 2016 at the National press centre in Minsk to announce the start of the country-wide survey.

STEPS survey is carried out within the framework of healthcare project Belmed “Preventing noncommunicable diseases, promoting healthy lifestyle and support to modernization of the health system in Belarus 2016-2019”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Belarus. STEPS survey is also financially supported by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.