The World Health profession Alliance have launched an easy-to-use, practical guide to help individuals and their health professionals reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – conditions which currently account for 60% of global deaths. The WHPA Health Improvement Card consists of a health scorecard, with “how to” explanatory guides for individuals and health professionals. This is part of efforts by the World Health Professions Alliance WHPA to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases worldwide. WHPA represents 26 million nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists and physicians across 130 countries. It is concerned by the global epidemic of noncommunicable disease – such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, mental disorders and oral diseases – because it represents a significant threat to human health and social and economic development.
This Health Improvement Card has provided a vehicle to empower both patients and individuals to take responsibility for improving their health. It has been developed by health professionals with input from patients, health partners, and the WHO, to educate individuals on positive behaviour and lifestyle changes. It is a simple, universal educational tool which allows everyone to assess and record their lifestyle/ behavioural and biometric risk factors. It helps individuals and their health professional take a proactive approach to prevent NCDs and associated disability. The information obtained through the card can help individuals and health professionals develop interventions to address individuals’ risk factors and actively improve their health and well-being.
They are shown how to:
- avoid tobacco use and harmful alcohol consumption
- improve diet
- undertake regular sufficient physical activity
- achieve and maintain healthy weight
- manage tension and stress
- access preventive care and screening for preventable illness.