OC is funded by an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship Program. AP is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship. HLW is supported by an NHMRC Sidney Sax Public Health Fellowship (APP1037460) and the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
OC, AP and CJ conceptualized and designed the study. OC searched literature, collected and analysed data, interpreted results and wrote the manuscript. CJ, AP and HLW reviewed, critically revised the manuscript and contributed to the interpretation of results. All authors saw and approved the final version. OC had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.
OC - Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne VIC Australia. Mongolian Association of Family Medicine Specialists, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. AP - Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne VIC Australia. HLW - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health, United Kingdom; The Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia. CJ - Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne VIC Australia.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the major global cause of morbidity and mortality. In Mongolia, a number of health policies have been developed targeting the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. This paper aimed to evaluate the extent to which NCD-related policies introduced in Mongolia align with the World Health Organization (WHO) 2008–2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
We conducted a review of policy documents introduced by the Government of Mongolia from 2000 to 2013. A literature review, internet-based search, and expert consultation identified the policy documents. Information was extracted from the documents using a matrix, mapping each document against the six objectives of the WHO 2008–2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs and five dimensions: data source, aim and objectives of document, coverage of conditions, coverage of risk factors and implementation plan. 45 NCD-related policies were identified.
Prevention and control of the common NCDs and their major risk factors as described by WHO were widely addressed, and policies aligned well with the objectives of the WHO 2008–2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs. Many documents included explicit implementation or monitoring frameworks. It appears that each objective of the WHO 2008–2013 NCD Action Plan was well addressed. Specific areas less well and/or not addressed were chronic respiratory disease, physical activity guidelines and dietary standards.
The Mongolian Government response to the emerging burden of NCDs is a population-based public health approach that includes a national multisectoral framework and integration of NCD prevention and control policies into national health policies. Our findings suggest gaps in addressing chronic respiratory disease, physical activity guidelines, specific food policy actions restricting sales advertising of food products, and a lack of funding specifically supporting NCD research. The neglect of these areas may hamper addressing the NCD burden, and needs immediate action. Future research should explore the effectiveness of national NCD policies and the extent to which the policies are implemented in practice.