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Measuring Public Perceptions of Noncommunicable Diseases

Awareness and Understanding of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

To better understand the issues that surround the public's perceptions of NCDs and their risk factors, Gallup collaborated with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Health Organization on surveys in Colombia, India, Jordan, Tanzania and the United States, asking questions related to attitudes, perceptions and experiences of NCDs. The surveys are nationally representative and allow for cross-country comparability. Specifically, the focus is on people's attitudes and perceptions toward the four major types of NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

The respondent level nationally representative data set for these countries has been made available for independent research. The aim of this study is to enable more effective communication and outreach on NCDs, and to strengthen advocacy for effective policies to protect people from NCDs.

The data and analyses from this study will be used to:

Improve awareness and understanding of NCDs and their risk factors by developing more effective communication

Bridge the knowledge gap between the NCD technical scientific community and the general public

Strengthen public knowledge of NCDs and their risk factors to support advocacy efforts and encourage policymakers to prioritize interventions that address NCDs and their causes

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While the COVID-19 pandemic held global attention over the past two years, the threat of noncommunicable diseases has continued to escalate. NCDs, which include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases like asthma, now kill more people than communicable diseases. Every two seconds, someone aged under 70 dies prematurely from an NCD, and the situation has been acutely compounded by COVID-19.

Many policies and strategies exist to combat the rise of NCDs -- these are well known to health sector professionals and policymakers. However, public awareness of NCDs and their risk factors needs much improvement. This could be achieved, to a large extent, through more effective communication and advocacy campaigns which use simple, direct, and context specific language that people can relate to in their daily lives.

All samples for the Gallup survey were probability-based and nationally representative of the resident adult population. The coverage area is the entire country including rural areas, and the sampling frame represents the entire civilian, non-institutionalized, aged 18 and older population. Exceptions include areas where the safety of interviewing staff is threatened, scarcely populated islands in some countries, and areas that interviewers can reach only by foot, animal, or small boat.

At least 1,000 individuals aged 18 and older were interviewed in each country (the sample size), except for India, where the sample size was 3,000.

Gallup conducted face-to-face interviews in four of the countries: Colombia, India, Jordan, and Tanzania. In the USA, interviewing was conducted by telephone.

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