Mongolia has made a steady progress in improving the health status of the population over recent decades. The MDG targets for maternal and child health are on track and there is a declining trend in the prevalence of communicable diseases, especially vaccine-preventable diseases.
Noncommunicable diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancer and injuries have now become the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Common risk factors associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviour such as smoking, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are now becoming highly prevalent and are the major cause of premature deaths in the productive age group
Environmental factors such as air pollution, poor access to water and sanitation and chemical safety are of public health concern, especially in urban centers. Rapid migration from rural to urban and sub-urban areas has also posed a challenge to health service delivery.
Despite commendable Government efforts to improve the health of the people through comprehensive national health policies, strategies and plans, several key challenges remain to be addressed. Some of these challenges are disparities in health between urban and rural populations, mal-distribution of the health workforce, lack of coordination of stakeholders' input into the health sector and inadequate preparedness and response to health emergencies and disasters.
A strategic agenda has been developed for the next six years (2010-2015) in line with the priorities identified in the Health Sector Master Plan of the Government of Mongolia, and keeping in view the following:
- Key health and development challenges confronting the country as analyzed by WHO in full consultation with the Government, national stakeholders and partners at country level;
- Contributions to health development by other development partners and identified challenges and gaps in health sector cooperation, recognizing the potential adverse effects of the 2008-2009 severe global financial crisis;
- Lessons from the review of WHO's cooperation over the last Country Cooperation Strategy cycle and beyond;
- WHO's comparative advantage; and
- WHO's General Programme of Work, the strategic objectives in the Medium Term Strategic Plan and other regional and global orientations and priorities.
Five strategic priorities for WHO cooperation have been identified for the CCS covering the next six years:
- Health system strengthening through primary health care;
- Scaling up prevention and control of NCDs, injuries, violence and their determinants;
- Sustaining and accelerating the achievement of health-related MDG targets;
- Strengthening health security, including control of communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases;
- Strengthen environmental health management.