Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of the growing global disease burden due to non-communicable diseases. For successful prevention and control of CVD, strategies that focus on individuals need to complement population-wide strategies. Strategies that focus on individuals are cost effective only when targeted at high-risk groups. Risk prediction tools that easily and accurately predict an individual's absolute risk of CVD are key to targeting limited resources at high-risk individuals who are likely to benefit the most. Health systems in low-income countries do not have the basic infrastructure facilities to support resource-intensive risk prediction tools, particularly in primary healthcare. The WHO/ISH charts presented here, enable the prediction of future risk of heart attacks and strokes in people living in low and middle income countries, for the first time. Furthermore, since the charts use simple variables they can be applied even in low resource settings. Thus the WHO/ISH risk predication charts and the accompanying guideline will improve the effectiveness of cardiovascular risk management even in settings which do not have sophisticated technology.