When the Government of Mongolia proposed to make non-communicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) a key component of its MCC compact, no one could have foreseen that it would provide a model for other countries to follow. But over the past five years, the MCA- Mongolia Health Project has proved to be a leader in tackling NCDIs, and the source of many useful lessons about addressing this rising threat to the health of nations.

The success of the Health Project is testimony to the value of thinking strategically about health, both for its own sake and as a means of supporting economic growth. Rather than dealing exclusively with clinical  concerns and seeking “quick fixes,” the project proceeded carefully and systematically to build on the country’s existing strengths, engaging not just with the health system but with the citizens themselves.

As this publication shows, the MCA-Mongolia Health Project has been a team effort, conceived and executed in a spirit of institutional cooperation and national capacity building. The Project Implementation Unit and its contractors have worked with government and non-governmental partners across the country and across different sectors. As necessary, leading international experts have been brought in to inform and support the work of Mongolian institutions.

The rigorous research and meticulous planning carried out during the early years of the
Health Project have now paid off in its successful country-wide implementation, reaching
all of Mongolia’s 21 aimags. We have every confidence that the activities initiated under
the Health Project will continue well into the future to reduce levels of premature death and
suffering from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and traffic injuries.
The end result will be to reduce suffering, increase citizens’ years of productive life, and cut
the healthcare burden on the country’s finances.

This publication describes the activities undertaken by the MCA-Mongolia Health Project,
and presents interviews carried out with people who have participated or benefited from its
achievements. We hope that it will contribute to further progress, both in Mongolia and in
other countries wishing to tackle non-communicable diseases and injuries.

Ulaanbaatar, May 2013.