WHPA Health Improvement Card

Partnership objectives

  1. Develop an easy-to-use guide and toolkit to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.
  2. Help the health community pay attention to the link between social determinants and the incidence of all NCDs.
  3. Promote a sustainable change in behaviours to achieve health.
  4. Strengthen the patient-doctor communication channels and primary healthcare systems.

All NCDs can either be prevented or, if identified early, treated and managed in a way that significantly reduces disability, financial and societal costs and prolongs healthy years of life. All NCDs can either be prevented or, if identified early, treated and managed in a way that significantly reduces disability, financial and societal costs and prolongs healthy years of life. Copyright WHPA

What are the health needs and challenges?

Long-term chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the leading causes of premature deaths worldwide, accounting for approximately 60% of global deaths. Yet most NCDs are preventable by improving diet, increasing physical activity levels, stopping tobacco smoking and reducing harmful use of alcohol.

The global epidemic of NCDs is of major concern because it represents a significant threat to human health and development. Unless addressed, the burden of these diseases will continue to increase. All NCDs can either be prevented or, if identified early, treated and managed in a way that significantly reduces disability, financial and societal costs. The Health Improvement Card aims to improve global health through positive changes in behaviour and lifestyle and to reduce the 36 million a year burden from non-communicable diseases.

Description of partnership activities and how they address the needs and challenges

The scorecard helps individuals rate their behaviours on a “stoplight-type” fashion. Behaviours in red are labelled as highly risky. Behaviours in yellow indicate caution, and those in green correspond to healthy, sustainable behaviours. The goal is to help patients gradually move their behaviours to the green area. The NCD toolkit will be shared with over 26 million health care professionals in more than 130 countries to help encourage patients to identify and prevent risky behaviours.

The scorecard keeps track of biometrics and behaviours that affect a patient’s likelihood to develop a chronic illness over the long-term. Four biometric indicators and four lifestyle indicators provide a comprehensive panorama on the patient’s health status. A constant use of this resource allows individuals and health professionals to develop targeted interventions to improve their health and well-being.

The four biometrics help monitor:

  • Body mass index and cholesterol, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Fasting blood sugar, to help prevent diabetes
  • Blood pressure, to check for hypertension 

The four lifestyle indicators are shown to:

  • Avoid tobacco use and harmful alcohol consumption
  • Improve diet
  • Undertake regular sufficient physical activity
  • Achieve and maintain healthy weight
  • Manage tension and stress
  • Promote preventive care and screening for preventable illnesses 

Overall, the Health Improvement Card helps the health community pay due attention to the inextricable link between social determinants of health and the incidence of all NCDs—extending the scope to mental and oral health illnesses. By focusing on a holistic approach to health, WHPA goes beyond the narrow frame of corrective NCD action and promotes a sustainable change in behaviours to achieve health. WHPA hopes this initiative will strengthen the patient-doctor communication channels as well as primary healthcare systems. The scorecard reminds patients that health is in their hands.

A mobile application of the Health Improvement Card, called Healthy Score, is now available for download. The app includes an alert system based on the commitments selected to support people on their path to healither living.

Partnership information

Company(ies) IFPMA

Partner(s) International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), World Confederation for Physical Therapy, World Dental Federation (FDI), World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), World Medical Association (WMA)

Type of Partner(s) NGOs, Professional Associations

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Arthritis & Osteoperosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cervical Cancer, Children's Health, Diabetes, Diseases of the Nervous System, Haemophilia, Hematology Disorders, Hypertension, Leukemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, Tobacco Control, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - mHealth, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, General population, Health professionals, Men, Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, North America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 182

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2011

More information Healthy Score

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« A simple, universal educational tool which allows everyone to assess and record their lifestyle behavioral and biometric risk factors. It helps individuals and their health professional take a proactive approach to prevent NCDs and associated disability. »

Jean-Luc Eiselé, WHPA spokesperson, FDI World Dental Federation Chief Executive Officer