course ID: 2021_cNCD

NCD control in a global health perspective: Public health and systems strengthening approaches


The course addresses public health strategies to curb NCDs, and changes needed in the health care system, with regards to the most cost-effective, affordable and scalable interventions (“best buys”) and health service strengthening approaches. The respective contributions of multisectoral public health interventions vs. changes needed within the health care system are identified and discussed. The focus is on discussing, exposing and contrasting the respective contributions of public health interventions targeting the whole population (relying largely on non-health actors) and measures to strengthen the health system (involving mainly health care actors and focusing on individuals at risk) toward NCD prevention and control.


At the end of the course participants will:

  • Know effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable approaches for NCD prevention and control, with a focus on middle- and low-income countries.
  • Be aware of major cost-effective and affordable public health interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs and relate them with multisectoral interventions and health system strengthening.
  • Be aware of the critical elements and successful approaches to strengthen health systems to deliver NCD services.
  • Identify the rationale, benefits and resources needed for implementing, respectively, the “public health” approach versus the “health services” approach for the prevention and control of NCDs.


Basic knowledge and experience in a medical or public health field. Interest for prevention and control of NCDs in low and middle income countries (although the issues discussed in the course are also fully relevant to high income countries). The course can also be of interest for persons involved in development programs in low and middle income countries that have a health component.

Pedagogical method:

  • Introductory lectures on:
  1. NCD burden and impact
  2. Rationale for, and contend of, the main public health interventions approaches for the prevention and control of NCDs
  3. Critical aspects of health systems strengthening
  4. Health policy options for NCD prevention and control from both the public health and health systems perspectives
  • Plenary discussions on public health and health systems strengthening approaches to the control of NCDs
  • Group work on NCD prevention and control approaches

Assessment procedure:

  • Participation in introductory lectures
  • Active participation in group work
  • Elaboration and presentation of a case study on NCD control


Kaspar Wyss

Deputy director and head of Department, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute associated institute to the University of Basel

Pascal Bovet

Médecin-cadre bénévole (benevolent senior consultant), Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisanté), Lausanne, Switzerland

Past head of the NCD section at Unisanté-DESS

Past professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Biology, University of Lausanne