WHO in the Western Pacific

NCD and Health through the Life-Course

Division Mandate

To support Member States in promoting health as well as preventing morbidity, premature death and disability by addressing behavioral, environmental, social, cultural and health systems-related determinants of health. The programme will guide development of responses and interventions at the population level cognizant of specific health and developmental needs at different stages throughout the life course. Programme components include surveillance, strategic and innovative communication, advocacy for policy, development and enforcement of legislation and regulations, engagement with multisectoral stakeholders, special interventions for marginalized and displaced populations due to extreme climactic conditions, support for whole-of-government approaches and empowerment of communities and families to create health as a resource for living in the settings where people live, work, learn and play.


Unit Mandates

Health and the Environment

To support Member States in improving health outcomes linked to environmental risks including but not limited to: unsafe water and inadequate sanitation, poor air quality (indoor and outdoor), exposure to toxic, hazardous waste and chemicals, and climate change. Emphasis is placed on enabling strengthened collaboration between health and environment sectors. Capacity in countries will be enhanced through regional technical networks of experts and partners, inter-country sharing of good practices, research, policies and action on environmental and occupational hazards to health, and strengthening environmental surveillance and information systems. Desired outcomes include strengthened national capacity to undertake environmental health risk assessment and followed by appropriate multisectoral responses (e.g. laws, regulations, policies, plans, and programmes) to increase resilience to climate change and achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion (NCD and HPR)

For Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Control (NCD)

To support Member States in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—particularly cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases—by raising priority accorded to NCDs through international cooperation and advocacy; strengthening national capacity, governance, multisectoral action, and partnerships; reducing the major modifiable risk factors, such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity, by developing and implementing effective legal frameworks; orienting health systems through people-centred health care and universal health coverage; promoting high-quality research and development; and monitoring trend, determinants, and progress to achieve global, regional, and national targets through evidence-based interventions.

For Health Promotion (HPR)

To support Member States in developing sustainable and autonomous infrastructure for health promotion to effectively apply and scale-up health promotion approaches to address priority public health concerns. Emphasis is placed on development of urban health strategies. Capacity in countries will be enhanced through leadership development programmes. Building healthy public policies, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action and personal skills will be promoted in a range of settings e.g. cities, islands, schools, workplaces among others.

Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

To accelerate full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in order to reduce tobacco use and protect people from second hand smoke exposure and thereby prevent and mitigate tobacco-related diseases and premature deaths. Emphasis is placed on sustainable programmes for tobacco control.

Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)

To assist Member States in developing whole-of-society approaches to address health and human development needs throughout different stages of the life course, in particular in improving health of newborns, children, adolescents and adults of reproductive age by ensuring universal access to quality, evidence-based promotive, preventive and life-saving interventions at all levels of the health care delivery system and ensuring appropriate linkages to community resources.

Nutrition (NUT)

To assist Member States in strengthening collaboration within and between sectors in addressing the double burden of malnutrition, including but not limited to wasting, stunting, low birth weight, micronutrient deficiencies as well as overweight and obesity and diet-related NCDs. Emphasis is placed on protection during the first 1000 days of life. Capacity in countries will be strengthened through policy dialogues, advocacy and development as well as enforcement of legal frameworks that protect, promote and support healthy diets and sustainable food systems.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MHS)

To assist Member States to promote mental well-being, prevent mental disorders, protect human rights, provide care, and enhance recovery for people with mental and substance use disorders. Emphasis is placed on scaling up mental health programmes through implementation options (core, expanded and comprehensive) that are country-specific. Capacity in countries will be enhanced through health systems and whole-of-government approaches as well as strategies to enable the health sector to consolidate support for a social movement for action on mental health and well-being.

Violence and Injuries (VIP)

To assist Member States with policies and multi-sectoral action to prevent and reduce death, morbidity, trauma and disability resulting from violence and injuries, particularly those related to road traffic crashes, drowning and interpersonal violence against women, children and youth.

Disability and Rehabilitation, including Blindness Prevention and Control (DAR and BPC)

For Disability and Rehabilitation (DAR)

To assist Member States in improving the health of people with disabilities through access to general health services as well as rehabilitation, assistive devices and community-based rehabilitation programmes, and to increase evidence-based policy and programme decision-making through improved data and appropriate information systems.

For Blindness Prevention and Control (BPC)

To assist Member States to reduce avoidable visual impairment as a public health problem and to secure access to low-vision and rehabilitation services for the visually impaired. Capacity in countries will be enhanced through integration of comprehensive eye-care services in health systems strengthening.

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