Noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors

UN Task Force on NCDs: operationalising national plans on noncommunicable diseases prevention and control in Bhutan

UNIATF mission meets Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minster of Bhutan, February 2017.
PM/Bhutan Office

10 February 2017 -- Reducing harmful alcohol use, and improving diet and nutrition in Bhutan were among key areas focused on by the first joint mission to the country by the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The task force visited Bhutan from 6-10 February to support the government in tackling NCDs - principally cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases and NCD-related conditions.

Walk the Talk: WHO Healthy Work Place Initiative

Walk the Talk: a WHO Healthy Work Place Initiative

9 February 2017 -- ‘Walk the Talk: a WHO Healthy Work Place Initiative’ was launched at WHO headquarters and regional offices on the 19 January 2016. The initiative aims to promote healthy lifestyles in the workplace and reflects the commitment of WHO staff to set an example by following the recommendations set forward to Member States. A comprehensive strategy for a healthy workplace addresses a broad range of health issues, including physical activity, occupational health and safety and nutrition. The initiative is taken forward by the ‘Staff Health Safety and Wellbeing’ committee.

Worldwide, 81% of school-aged children are not active enough

A young girl breaks a red ribbon as she wins a run race in India

1 February 2017 -- A lack of physical activity is a significant risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Less and less physical activity is occurring in many countries. Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body. Some physical activity is better than none. WHO's Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, calls for a 10% reduction in physical inactivity by 2025..

9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Shanghai 2016

Health for all and all for health

21–24 November 2016 -- Promoting health is central to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. The '9th Global Conference on Health Promotion' in Shanghai will chart a new course for the next 15 years, aimed at inspiring national governments, municipal leaders and other stakeholders to grasp the great potential of promoting health across all sectors of society.

The NCD document repository

Screenshot of the WHO NCD document repository.

21 November 2016 -- The NCD document repository provides access to national NCD targets, policies, and guidelines submitted by Member States to WHO. While the majority of documents were received as part of each Member State’s response to the 2015 NCD Country Capacity Survey, new documents can be added at any time.

What are noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors?

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries. The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.

Explore WHO’s work on preventing, managing and coordinating action to prevent and control NCDs through this website.

Prevention of noncommunicable diseases

Reducing the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases – tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol – is the focus of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs.

Management of noncommunicable diseases

NCDs – including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – kill 38 million people every year. Prevention of NCDs is important. However, investing in better management is the other key component of the NCD response.

Surveillance of noncommunicable diseases

Public health monitoring or surveillance activities comprise the regular collection of health information in terms of health indicators, the routinely analysis of indicators over time, place and between population groups, sharing of available scientific knowledge as well as the regular dissemination of results.

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