Noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors

WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs

On 10 October 2017, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the establishment of a High-level global Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs).

The Commission’s aim is to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s biggest causes of death and extend life expectancy for millions of people. The Commission will support ongoing political efforts to accelerate action on cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, as well as reducing suffering from mental health issues and the impacts of violence and injuries.

The Commission will be co-chaired by Dr Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, and Dr Sania Nishtar, a prominent global advocate for action against NCDs, former Federal Minister of the government of Pakistan, and civil society leader. President Vázquez hosted the WHO Global Conference on NCDs (Montevideo, 18-20 October 2017). Dr Nishtar previously served as co-chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.

In 2018, world leaders will meet again to discussion NCDs at the third United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs.

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.

In 2015, world leaders committed to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent WHO reports indicate that the world will struggle to meet that target.

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