The Report on the investment case for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) was developed jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Interagency Task Force (UNIATF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gulf Health Council (GHC), and the Ministry of Health in Bahrain.
The four main NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases – cause 75% of deaths in Bahrain, and nearly one in five adults dies from NCDs before the age of 70. The premature death, morbidity and disability associated with NCDs are more than a health issue – they negatively affect socio-economic development and long-term fiscal sustainability of government and public services.
The investment case for NCDs in Bahrain shows that NCDs cost the Bahrain economy 534 million BD (USD 1.4 billion), equivalent to 3.8% of its 2019 GDP, and kill around 2,000 Bahraini citizens per year. However, by investing in four cost-effective and proven policy packages, Bahrain would, over the next 15 years:
- Avert 636 million BD (USD 1.7 billion) in economic output losses;
- Save 15,000 lives and reduce the incidence of disease;
- Provide economic benefits (636 million BD) that significantly outweigh the costs (262 million BD) of implementation;
- Provide positive returns on investment for each intervention package:
- Salt reduction (1:7.2), tobacco control (1:2.7), diet and physical activity awareness (1: 1.7), and CVD and diabetes clinical interventions for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes (1:1.4).
Beyond the four policy packages modelled, the investment case discusses air pollution, the food system, urban design, and implementation of other cost-effective interventions such as bans on trans fats and health taxes on sugar and other health-harming products, as well as integrated responses to NCDs and COVID-19.