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World Heart Day Policy Call

On 29 September 2016 – World Heart Day – the World Heart Federation launched a two-year campaign focusing on a topical theme: the power of information.

As well as being the foundation for strong advocacy, robust and reliable data is essential for governments when deciding where to allocate resources to fund health programmes.  However, many governments lack the adequate technical and financial resources, workforce capacity, and political will necessary for robust CVD surveillance and monitoring. Others may not apply the information they gather to guide policies on CVD, or may not harmonize data collected from different sources.

Nevertheless, many countries have made great strides in developing policies to address their CVD burden, despite limited resources. To help improve our knowledge of countries’ CVD burdens around the world, the WHF’s World Heart Day campaign for 2016 and 2017 includes a global policy call to governments:

To implement reliable and fit for purpose surveillance and monitoring systems for CVD in order to better prevent, treat and control the world’s biggest killer.

More specifically, WHF aims to secure commitments from governments to:

  • Strengthen vital registration and cause of death registration systems
  • Include coverage of CVD key interventions into existing health information systems
  • Collect information on a representative subsample of the population on the prevalence and quality of care of patients with hypertension and CVD; and undertake periodic data collection on the behavioural and metabolic risk factors (harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, overweight and obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, and hyperlipidemia), and determinants of risk exposure such as marketing of food, tobacco and alcohol in a subsample of the population.

To find out more about the World Heart Federation’s global policy call, please contact Lyndsey Canham, Programme Officer at


Recommendations for addressing gaps in CVD surveillance and monitoring

The WHF recommends a number of interventions to build effective CVD monitoring and surveillance as part of an overall strategy to enhance quality of care for CVD patients, strengthen health systems, and support the delivery of the WHO NCD goal of “25 by 25”:

  • Align national targets with global targets and use WHO NCD Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) indicators to monitor progress towards 2025 targets
  • Build capability to track trends in risk factors as part of a surveillance strategy
  • Strengthen national civil registration systems (births, deaths, causes of deaths)
  • Invest in capacity building for technical expertise
  • Expand the range of existing national surveys, include coverage of CVD key interventions in national health information systems, and harmonize data sources
  • Strengthen existing data collection systems in the health sector and non-health sector
  • Learn from the experience of countries that have strong surveillance capabilities and from successful surveillance strategies for communicable diseases
  • Enhance global mechanisms to monitor country capacity in CVD surveillance
  • Overcome political inertia and draw attention to the importance of CVD surveillance

For more information about World Heart Day 2017

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