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“2 January, 2018: Experts and advocates in promoting health and preventing and controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have been mobilized to support the running of the WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs.
The Commission is chaired by leading political figures including the President of Uruguay, Dr Tabaré Vázquez. Dr Sania Nishtar, as the Commission chair leading on the technical development of a set of recommendations and measures for action, says stronger political commitment and increased investment is essential for preventing and controlling the main NCDs, namely cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes.
“While there has been limited progress in recent years to address NCDs, it is clear that more robust, coordinated and meaningful action is needed to protect people and communities from the impacts of these conditions,” says Dr Nishtar.
The Commission was established by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and will run until October 2019. It will advise Dr Tedros on bold and practical recommendations, and new opportunities, for countries to accelerate progress on NCDs, in line with the Agenda for Sustainable Development target of a one-third reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030.
During the recent Universal Health Coverage Forum in Japan, Dr Tedros and Dr Nishtar discussed the Commission’s progress.
“We urgently need new approaches and action on a dramatically different scale if we are to stop people dying unnecessarily from noncommunicable diseases,” says Dr Tedros. “I am committed to engaging the very best people in the world to address our health challenges.”
On 16-17 January 2018, the work of the Commission will be discussed during a meeting being held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, of directors of NCDs programmes from across the Organization’s global network.
Initial outputs of the Commission will include:
- establishing an independent platform to mobilize stakeholders to identify innovative recommendations for accelerating the response on NCDs.
- providing actionable recommendations that will contribute to preparations to the Third United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2018. This will include the submission of its first report to the WHO Director-General in May 2018.
Working Groups on various thematic areas will also be established, providing insights and recommendations to the Commission.
Dr Svetlana Akselrod, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for NCDs and Mental Health, says the work of the Commission, and the convening of the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs, represent critical opportunities for the world to leverage for reducing avoidable death and suffering, and economic loss, associated with NCDs.
“Accelerated action to prevent and reduce NCDs is essential for many reasons, from protecting the health and promoting the well-being of people all over the world, to helping countries strengthen national development, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Dr Akselrod says. “Addressing NCDs also goes hand in hand with advancing universal health coverage in countries.”
NCDs kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 each year. Low- and lower-middle income countries are particularly affected by NCDs with almost 50% of premature deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries.”
Source: WHO website, http://who.int/ncds/governance/high-level-commission/mission/en/
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