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The contribution of community-based programmes to health

PhD ceremony:Z.E. Pardoel
When:March 27, 2024
Start:16:15
Supervisors:prof. dr. M.J. (Maarten) Postma, prof. dr. B.W. (Robert) Lensink, prof. dr. S.A. (Menno) Reijneveld
Co-supervisor:dr. J.A. (Jeanet) Landsman-Dijkstra
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
The contribution of community-based programmes to health

The contribution of community-based programmes to health

Non-communicable diseases are the leading global cause of death, with a significant part of this burden in low- and middle-income countries. Approximately 60% of mortality in Southeast Asia is caused by these diseases, and that mortality is expected to increase due to urbanization, globalization, and changes in lifestyle. Diabetes and hypertension, particularly among older individuals, also pose challenges to the accessibility and availability of healthcare.

This thesis focuses on the potential of community-based programmes to address non-communicable diseases, particularly in Southeast Asia. It studies the design and adaptation of programmes, and evaluates their implementation and impact in terms of the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.The thesis uncovers essential components of effective community-based programmes, including the contribution of community health workers, family support, local stakeholders, collaboration with primary healthcare and comprehensive multi-purpose community-based programmes, along with a need for culturally sensitive adaptation.

The project yielded a guideline for contextual adaptation, and highlights the importance of successful implementation and tailored education for individuals most vulnerable to non-communicable diseases and health inequalities.The findings indicate that sustainable health policies in low- and middle-income countries require collaboration with healthcare facilities, cultural appropriateness, regular training for community health volunteers and adequate funding. The findings further imply a need of evaluating the impact of cultural adaptation, stakeholder engagement, and successful implementation models.Implementing these insights can enhance the efficacy of community-based programmes in preventing and managing non-communicable diseases in Southeast Asia and globally, particularly benefitting vulnerable populations and contributing to improved public health outcomes.