dations from these studies are not always aligned with a country’s available resources and community preferences.
The representatives of Bangladesh, Kenya, Grenada, and Rwanda described less availability of information regarding the social and economic burden of disease or the costs and benefits of using various resources. The speakers mentioned that there are few country-specific studies on the effectiveness of programs targeting chronic diseases, the cost effectiveness of interventions, or the economic burden of disease. This is in large part due to the fact that there are few people in the health sector with the technical skills to do these assessments. Several speakers mentioned that there is limited availability of services and interventions in their countries, and it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of something that is not present in the first place.
Overall, the speakers suggested that the data that are available provide a general, even if not completely comprehensive, picture of the chronic disease situation in the countries that they represent. It is clear that action for chronic disease control is needed, and the current data sources already provide some guidance for decision making on what measures should be taken. As many of the participants mentioned, data gaps should not be an excuse for inaction; however, better data will ideally lead to smarter spending and more effective programs that effectively address the chronic disease burden.
Chapter 6 provides a further summary of the considerations raised in this session along with the presentations and discussions throughout the workshop.