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About 1,500 patients with non-communicable diseases mobilized within international program

Nearly 1,500 elderly people from 70 villages of Moldova mobilized to have a healthy lifestyle. It goes to an international chronic disease management program that enabled patients with non-communicable diseases to increase their capacity to self-manage their conditions on a daily basis. The adaptation of this program to the cultural context of Moldova was possible thanks to a European-level partnership based on the experiences of Denmark and Switzerland, IPN reports.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which was initially developed at Stanford University in the U.S., was successfully implemented in several European countries, and the piloting results in the Republic of Moldova are promising, said Nicolaj Holmes Faber, author of the program.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program was adapted and piloted in the Republic of Moldova during 2019-2023. It included 1,432 patients with non-communicable diseases from 70 rural localities.

In each village, small groups of 12-14 patients were formed, being led by a trained facilitator, who smoothed behavioral changes for the self-management of disease, emotions and social role. After six weeks, the patients with non-communicable diseases improved their body’s functional capacity, adaptive abilities and level of confidence in managing disease symptoms, emotions, pain, fatigue.

“This international cooperation not only benefits patients, but also supports the sustainable development agenda, promoting social inclusion and addressing healthcare access issues,” said Zinaida Bezverhni, Health Program Coordinator at the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova.

“In the future, it will be crucial to involve national actors to take over the piloted intervention. Efforts will have to focus on integrating the program into policies addressing risk factors for noncommunicable diseases,” stated Mariana Gîncu, head of the Public Health Policy and Public Health Emergencies Division of the Ministry of Health.

The program takes a holistic approach to health and promises to have a lasting impact on public health in Moldova, helping to lessen the burden of premature deaths (86% of premature deaths are due to noncommunicable diseases) and catastrophic expenditure caused by non-communicable diseases at individual and societal levels.

The adoption and piloting of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program was possible within the activities of the Moldovan-Swiss Project “Healthy Life: Reducing the Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases”, supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Republic of Moldova. Switzerland is one of the largest donors to Moldova’s healthcare sector.

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