Sounding the Alarm on a Global Public Health Challenge
March 24, 2021
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition that is not well known, yet a quarter of the global adult population is estimated to have NAFLD, including 30% of adults in Latin America. Rising rates of NAFLD have been fueled by the global rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes in Latin America and many parts of the world. The actions required to prevent and control NAFLD overlap with the measures required for many other non-communicable diseases. Despite the rising numbers of people affected and its substantial economic impact, NAFLD has received little attention in both national and global health agendas.
Mariana Lazo, MD, PhD, ScM, associate research professor, Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) recently participated in an expert panel focused on the public health burden of fatty liver disease in Latin America. The panel and subsequent white paper was organized by The Economist Intelligence Unit and the International Liver Foundation. The effort sought to explore the opportunities and challenges for raising the profile of NAFLD within national, regional and global health policy agendas, with a specific focus on the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East regions. Global and regional calls to action were developed, based on these panel discussions. The calls to action include: improving awareness of NAFLD and its consequences, improving the management of patients (including removing structural healthcare barriers, improving risk stratification, integrated care and patient involvement), and incorporating NAFLD into the non-communicable disease agenda and broader public health efforts.
Read more about the NAFLD panels.