©️ Pixabay

NCD Alliance updated FAQs on COVID-19 and NCDs

09th June 2020

People living with underlying health conditions such as NCDs and older people are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, but many questions are still being raised. We provide answers to these questions and others based on recent and updated evidence. 

NCD Alliance have published an updated question and answers resource on COVID-19 and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). It is not a comprehensive review. For more information, please visit NCDA’s resources page, and our page of calls to action from the NCD civil society movement in response to this new pandemic.

Evidence from science, healthcare professionals, and government guidelines on self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic shows many intersections between COVID-19 and NCDs. People who are over 60 years of age and people living with noncommunicable diseases (PLWNCDs) and conditions including hypertension and obesity, have a substantially higher risk of becoming severely ill or dying from the virus[1][2]. COVID-19 is also likely to cause a “disruption of services for the prevention and treatment of NCDs” causing a “long-term upsurge in deaths from NCDs[3].

Information to the following FAQs are provided here

  1. Are people living with NCDs at higher risk from COVID-19?
  2. What is the impact of COVID-19 on funding and NCD programme delivery?
  3. What are the causes of disruptions to NCD programme delivery during COVID-19?
  4. How does COVID-19 affect people living with NCDs? (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, obesity, dementia) 
  5. How does COVID-19 impact people living with or affected by mental health conditions?
  6. What is the role of diet and physical activity during COVID-19?
  7. Does air pollution increase the risk of COVID-19?
  8. Does smoking and tobacco use increase the risk of COVID-19?
  9. How are unhealthy industries influencing behaviour and practices during COVID-19?
  10. What preparedness steps could be taken to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on people living with or affected by NCDs (PLWNCDs)? 

[1] Information note COVID-19 and NCDs: WHO, March 2020

[2] WHO news June 2020 COVID-19 significant impacts health services for noncommunicable diseases: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/01-06-2020-covid-19-significantly-impacts-health-services-for-noncommunicable-diseases

[3] Rapid assessment of service delivery for NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic: WHO, 29 May 2020