BioMed Central, Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 1(41), 2022
Abstract Background The aim of this study is to assess the current status of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors amongst adolescents in Bangladesh. We also critically reviewed the existing policy responses to NCD risk among adolescents in Bangladesh. Methods This study used a mixed method approach. To quantify the NCD risk burden, we used data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey conducted in Bangladesh. To understand policy response, we reviewed NCD-related policy documents introduced by the Government of Bangladesh between 1971 and 2018 using the WHO recommended NCD Action Plan 2013–2020as study framework. Information from the policy documents was extracted using a matrix, mapping each document against the six objectives of the WHO 2013–2020 Action Plan. Results Almost all adolescents in Bangladesh had at least one NCD risk factor, and there was a high prevalence of concurrent multiple NCD risk factors; 14% had one NCD risk factor while 22% had two, 29% had three, 34% had four or more NCD risk factors. Out of 38 policy documents, eight (21.1%) were related to research and/or surveys, eight (21.1%) were on established policies, and eleven (29%) were on legislation acts. Three policy documents (7.9%) were related to NCD guidelines and eight (21.1%) were strategic planning which were introduced by the government and non-government agencies/institutes in Bangladesh. Conclusions The findings emphasize the needs for strengthening NCD risk factors surveillance and introducing appropriate intervention strategies targeted to adolescents. Despite the Government of Bangladesh introducing several NCD-related policies and programs, the government also needs more focus on clear planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation approaches to preventing NCD risk factors among the adolescents in Bangladesh.