Noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are usually caused by genetic or lifestyle factors. Four types of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – account for almost two-thirds of all deaths globally, with 80 per cent of these occurring in low- and middle-income countries. 


The IFRC is improving NCD prevention, detection and treatment through cross-sector cooperation, making the best use of available information and technology to target vulnerable communities. Our strength lies in our community volunteers’ work in tackling the underlying social, behavioural and environmental factors that determine good health, bringing about the required changes in behaviour and attitudes that will reduce the risk of NCDs.


Our volunteers play an essential role in contributing to the global NCD effort. In their auxiliary role to governments, National Societies work together with authorities to provide high-quality NCD programmes and services. Our advocacy work remains vital to promoting better and more accessible screening programmes, combined with wider public awareness initiatives to reduce the number of NCD-related deaths.

  • NCDs toolkit
  • Download the new toolkit for NCDs - published 2014
Healthy Lifestyles learning community

Useful resources

Download the Spanish version of the Healthy lifestyles banner

4 Healthy Habits: useful resources

World Health Assembly – #4HealthyHabits event

Non-communicable diseases: Will they become a priority for community action? - See more

Armenia: Utilizing peer engagement to encourage and sustain healthy lifestyles

Armenia Red Cross: Case study

In pictures - Maldivian Red Crescent: Promoting 4 Healthy Habits