NCD Policy & Practice Series

Prevention and Treatment of NCDs in Jordan & across the region

In 2018, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for 71% of all deaths globally, 74% across the MENA region and 76% in Jordan. These diagnoses (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes) require coordinated and continuous treatment, and demand greater investment in prevention. A myriad of evidence-informed policies have been undertaken globally to respond to the rise in NCDs. However, many have not been widely piloted or implemented.

This policy series aims to collate and present innovative solutions that address the needs of people with NCDs. Ministry of Health actors, non-governmental and private sector organizations may find this content relevant for developing policies that reduce the burden of NCDs in Jordan. This work was based upon a phased approach that took place in 2018 and 2019 and included:

  • A scoping review of NCD interventions in the MENA region
  • A qualitative study of the healthcare experience of persons with NCDs in Jordan
  • A consultative convening, hosted in Amman, with health, humanitarian and education actors

These efforts culminated in the 3 health policy briefs below. Each brief highlights specific actions aimed at reducing the prevalence of NCDs and enhancing treatment for those who have been diagnosed.

The areas of focus are:

  1. Prioritizing the prevention of noncommunicable diseases
  2. Integrating mental health services into NCD care 
  3. Elevating issues of quality, equity and access across the health system

Policy Brief #1: Leveraging Community Strengths To Prevent NCDs

Policy Brief #2: Addressing Mental Health and NCDs: Acting at the Intersection

Policy Brief #3: Improving the Quality, Access and Equity of NCD Services  

These documents are not intended to be comprehensive but we hope they serve as supportive materials for informed discussion and debate on what is both feasible and effective for stemming the NCD tide in Jordan and other similar contexts. This policy series was funded by the Program on Forced Migration and Health.

About the Author 
Zahirah McNatt, Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthZahirah McNatt, DrPH, MHSA, is Director of the Center for Community Health and Social Medicine and Assistant Professor at the University of Global Health Equity. She also serves as a lecturer at Yale School of Public Health and as a consultant in the areas of global health & humanitarian systems. She has more than 13 years of experience in the Middle East, East Africa, the Americas & Southeast Asia, working on health systems strengthening and research in humanitarian settings. Dr. McNatt was awarded the John and Kathleen Gorman Public Health Humanitarian Award in 2017 and earned her doctorate from Mailman School of Public Health in 2019. You can find Zahirah on Twitter @zahirahzahrah1.


This policy series was made possible with the support of the following organizations: 

International Rescue Committee
Dr. Muhammad Fawad, Health Coordinator, Jordan Country Office 

Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network
Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour, Executive Director
Samar Abdelnour, Director for Center of Excellence for Applied Epidemiology 

King Hussein Cancer Center
Dr. Suha Ghoul, Consultant Radiologist, Breast and Body Imaging 
Dr. Abdallah J. Nofal, Chairman of the Diagnostic Imaging Department
Dr. Mahmoud Al Masri, Chairman of the Department of Surgery
Eng. Dana Nashawati, Director of Quality 

Columbia Global Centers | Amman
Dr. Ahmad Al-Mousa, Program Manager


Additional Resources
Projecting the Prevalence of Major Non-Communicable Diseases/Risk Factors for the Jordanian Youth Population for the Years 2007 - 2050 EMPHNET, 2013

Scaling up action against NCDs: How much will it cost? WHO, 2011

"What's happening in Syria even affects the rocks": a qualitative study of the Syrian refugee experience accessing noncommunicable disease services in Jordan Conflict and Health, 2019

Host country responses to non-communicable disease amongst Syrian refugees: a review Conflict and Health, 2019