In all four countries, high rates of NCDs and key risk factors were found at baseline, reaffirming the need to continue developing and implementing policies aimed at preventing and controlling NCDs. In Brazil, India, and South Africa, persistent weaknesses in the health system were encountered; staff shortages, medication stock-outs, long wait times, and difficulty accessing health facilities are priorities for health policy in these countries. In the United States, the findings from HealthRise suggest that greater use of community health workers and community paramedics has the potential to be a cost-effective component of care for NCDs. At the global level, the overwhelming success of including home-based providers in NCD care strongly supports the wider use of frontline health workers as a component of a wide range of health programs in a diverse set of countries. A second major implication for global policy is the need for greater emphasis in donor funding on strengthening health systems so they are better equipped to provide NCD care, as development assistance for health remains substantially skewed towards infectious diseases.
Tens of thousands of people were screened for NCDs through the HealthRise programs in Brazil, India, South Africa and the US - well over 3,000 health workers received additional training, and hundreds of patients were placed on pharmacotherapy. HealthRise helped almost 3,000 hypertension patients and close to 800 diabetes patients meet clinical targets and bring their condition under control. HealthRise confirms the major contribution of NCDs to the global disease burden; the need for strong and well-functioning health systems to support complex and ongoing NCD care; the particular benefits of home visits and well-coordinated care; and the vital role of communities in supporting patients and families coping with complex illnesses.
Additional findings and key results are forthcoming.