NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are a major threat to health and development across the globe. Four types of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – account for almost two-thirds of the total number of deaths worldwide. However, as NCDs are largely caused by genetic or lifestyle factors, these diseases are preventable to a large extent.
Philips is cooperating with the Austrian Red Cross in a project that aims to prevent almost 80 percent of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and over a third of all cancers. The program provides materials and guidance to volunteers and community members, in a bid to change people’s lifestyles and reduce the risk of disease. Knowledge about the prevention, early detection, causes and consequences of NCDs will be increased through training, interactive workshops and informative material.
The Red Cross has a long history of working within communities, and their experience will be combined with Philips’ expertise to set up initiatives that empower people to take charge of their own health. The initial phase of the program focuses on spreading knowledge among Austrian Red Cross leaders and volunteers, who will then convey what they have learned to a broader public. Starting in Austria, the initiative is planned to expand to the rest of the DACH region in the near future.