Problem Samoa has been struggling to address the burden of noncommunicable diseases at the health system, community and individual levels. Approach The World Health Organization (WHO) package of essential noncommunicable disease interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings was adopted in seven villages throughout Samoa in 2015.The National Steering Committee Members designed and implemented a screening process, and local facilitators and health-care workers collected health and lifestyle data. The WHO/International Society of Hypertension risk assessment was used on villagers older than 40 years to identify people at high risk of noncommunicable disease. Local setting Samoa is a small island developing state with increasing morbidity and mortality due to noncommunicable diseases. A national representative survey indicated that 50.1% (595/1188) of the Samoan adult population is at high risk of such diseases. High numbers of noncommunicable diseases are undiagnosed or untreated, because of shortage of health-care staff and lack of awareness of risk factors. Relevant changes The teams collected data from 2234 adults. For people older than 40 years, 6.7% (54/804) were identified as being at high-risk and were encouraged to seek treatment or manage risk factors. Community members developed an awareness programme to improve understanding of lifestyle risk factors. Lessons learnt Engaging community members was crucial in conducting a successful screening campaign. By identifying those villagers at high risk of developing noncommunicable diseases, early intervention was possible. Education improved awareness of the symptom-free nature of early-stage noncommunicable diseases.