Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – account for almost two-thirds of all deaths globally, with 80 per cent of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
NCDs share four main behavioral risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, insufficient physical activity, and unhealthy diet. By eliminating shared risk factors, almost 80 per cent of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and over a third of all cancers could be prevented. Successful prevention of these deadly diseases largely depends on encouraging people to lead healthy lifestyle. While the role of healthcare providers is essential to encourage healthy habits, there is a need to reach people more effectively by bringing the message to their homes, repetitively and on a greater scale.
Together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the IFPMA has launched a global initiative, called "4HealthyHabits". This innovative partnership equips Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers with information and tools to change behaviours, promote healthy lifestyles in communities around the world and ultimately reduce the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We have developed a very practical, simple and easy to use toolkit that helps them communicate with people from all walks of life about the dangers of NCDs and promote healthy habits, as well as conduct basic screening.