The Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Investment Case for Russia prepared by WHO and UNDP under the United Nations Interagency Task Force on NCDs has found that by scaling up efforts for prevention and control of NCDs – including alcohol policy solutions such as alcohol taxation – many lives can be saved and economic revenue increased for the country.

The analysis was presented at the 4th All-Russia Forum on Public Health. The presentation highlighted the heavy burden of and high health, social and economic costs due to NCDs in Russia.

  • NCDs are the leading cause of mortality and disability and are accountable for 87% of all deaths in the country.
  • It is estimated that an average person in Russia has a 25% risk of dying prematurely (i.e. before the age of 70) from one of the four main NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. 
  • In 2016, 1,635,000 people in Russia died from NCDs while still in their prime productive years.
  • In 2018 alone, NCDs cost the Russian economy around 3.9% of GDP, with 86% of all costs stemming from indirect losses linked to premature mortality and reduced productivity of workers.

Most of these harms from NCDs are preventable, especially through tackling the major NCDs risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol. By scaling up existing NCD action Russia stands to improve the health, social and economic status of society.

The brand new Investment Case shows that investing in five cost effective intervention packages in Russia the country can avert over 4.3 million deaths and yield RUB 8.1 trillion ($105 billion) in economic benefits over the next 15 years.

4.3 million
Averted Deaths
By scaling up investment for prevention and control of NCDs Russia stands to avert 4.3 million deaths over 15 years.
USD 105 billion
Economic Benefits
By scaling up investment for prevention and control of NCDs Russia stands to gain RUB 8.1 trillion ($105 billion) in economic benefits over 15 years.

The packages include:

  • Four policy packages to reduce the prevalence of behavioral risk factors for NCDs:
    • Tobacco use,
    • Alcohol use,
    • Physical inactivity, and
    • Excessive salt consumption.
  • One clinical intervention package to address cardiovascular diseases and diabetes

The return on investment (ROI) is expected to be far higher than the initial resources invested in developing and implementing these best buy solutions with some interventions’ ROI being 50 times more. Furthermore, government revenue will be increased through raising taxes on health harming products – tobacco, sugar-sweetened beverages, and alcohol – which is part of the intervention package.

Economic growth, equity, demographic security – nearly all facets of sustainable development are affected by the NCD burden in Russia,” said Dudley Tarlton, Programme Specialist, Health and Development, UNDP, as per WHO.

These investment case findings – and the real progress made to date – confirm that Russia is on the right path, but the pace needs to be increased to meet the 2030 targets.” 

Dudley Tarlton, Programme Specialist, Health and Development, UNDP

The analysis conducted by the WHO/UNDP joint programme under the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs (UNIATF) can be used to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement and promote a whole-of-government, comprehensive approach to tackling NCDs in Russia. The investment case can be used to appeal to a broad range of stakeholders in Russia.

The Government of Russia has already demonstrated strong commitment to strengthening the prevention and control of NCDs, and the Ministry of Health’s strategic goals under Presidential Decree No. 204 of 2018 include several NCD-related priorities.

Russia also supports other countries in their efforts to tackle NCDs, for example through the WHO/UNDP joint program on catalyzing multisectoral action on NCDs. Another example of Russian support for other countries is the support for the development of evidence-based alcohol policy solutions in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Russian Federation continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership on the prevention and control of NCDs at national, regional, and global levels,” Dr Svetlana Akselrod, Director, Global NCD Platform, WHO, as per WHO.

We are happy that the comprehensive analysis conducted by UNIATF can inform Russia’s continued multisectoral and multistakeholder efforts to address NCDs and other health-related SDGs.”  

Dr Svetlana Akselrod, Director, Global NCD Platform, WHO

Source Website: WHO