The responsibility for Business in discourse of Non-Communicable Diseases

In fact, roughly two of every three deaths on the earth are now caused by NCDs, and the UN estimates that by 2030, five times as many will die of NCDs than of communicable diseases—around 52 million people every year. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have been called silent killers. They seem risk-free but over time become disabling and even deadly. NCDs are also known as chronic diseases; NCDs are eroding our health and quality of life and devastating healthcare systems and economies around the world.

However, it is established reality if we bring some changes in behavior and environmental conditions such as better nutrition, increased physical activity, or not smoking could improve or even prevent many NCDs. This noteworthy opening is reshaping views of healthcare in the Pakistan and raising questions among consumers and civil society about how these actors outside of the healthcare sector can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

If we take the case of United States, where we find the significant milestone set out by the Obama administration through Affordable Care Act which reflect as: Certain provisions of the act promote preventative services and wellness activities through grants to small businesses, investments to improve the social and economic factors contributing to health, the elimination of co-pays for some preventative services, and greater flexibility for employer-sponsored health and wellness benefits and interventions. Indeed, in a similar lines Pakistan needs such tangible acts to protect the consumers in general.

In businesses perspective, there is need to figure out that how companies can advance corporate engagements in health and wellness across the value chain. Pakistan in particular, supplies the big brands across the board from food to leather clothing value chain. Therefore, it will be in best interest of big brands if they pay attention to look at a broad spectrum of health issues, recognize that NCDs are a growing concern for business and stakeholders.

It is apparent that the role of business vis-à-vis employees, communities, business partners, healthcare providers, and the government is rapidly shifting. Driven moderately by rising healthcare costs and a shifting regulatory landscape, companies see a number of advantages to greater engagement in improving the health of the people they touch along the value chain, such as attractive productivity, attracting and retaining talent, escalation reputation, and spurring innovation. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Annual Employer Health Benefits survey, 90 percent of large companies now have some sort of workplace wellness program, and many companies are also working closely with cities and communities to develop shared health goals. In Pakistan’s context , there is much more to do some sort of work place wellness initiatives especially for SME sector who is contributing about  40 percent to GDP of Pakistan and retaining the significant skill labor . Indeed, there is a considerable break through for companies to use CSR approaches to turn on their stakeholder networks, organize financial and human resources effectively, create innovative business products and services, and take support from business governance to go forward health outcomes across the value chain.

In the coming decades, business success will depend upon the ability of companies to work in partnership with their stakeholders to effectively address health challenges. Therefore, health will no longer be exclusively the purview of healthcare companies or human resources and environmental health and safety specialists, but rather that all industries and every corner of business will play a role in making people healthier.


2 responses to “The responsibility for Business in discourse of Non-Communicable Diseases

  1. Its true, the employers should provide healthy and stress free environment to their employees which help in preventing NCDs and supply chain should also launch employee wellness programs to contribute in reducing health cost.

  2. with due reapect sir but we live in a country where per capita income is merely $1578. in such a situation an Affordable Care Act is way out of reach for general public. but i do second the idea of disease management sessions for patients suffering from NCD’s inside the work place. i think this is a very healthy activity and should be promoted in every work place.

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