WHO URGES COUNTRIES TO SCALE UP ACTION ON NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
July 11 10:25
UNITED NATIONS,The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday reported progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), highlighting the need to scale up action to battle NCDs. Although many countries have made progress in tackling heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, current global mortality from NCDs remains high and is increasing, Xinhua news agency quotes WHO saying in a report.The "Non-communicable diseases country profiles 2014" report released Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly painted a picture of recent trends and government responses to NCDs in 194 countries.It revealed that 38 million people (28 million in developing countries) die every year from NCDs with nearly 16 million dying prematurely before the age of 70.The number of NCD deaths has increased worldwide and in every region since 2000 with most reported in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions."These premature deaths are largely preventable by governments implementing simple measures which reduce risk factors for NCDs and enable health systems to respond," the report said."Bolder measures are urgent to accelerate efforts to address NCDs and mitigate their impacts."The report included estimation on the current burden and recent trends in NCD deaths and risk factors such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, high blood pressure and obesity.Many of the 178 countries that responded to the most recent WHO survey have made progress in tackling the epidemic.WHO director general Margaret Chan highlighted chronic diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the world's leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and urged a "seismic shift" that calls for sweeping changes in the mindset of public health.She called the General Assembly's 2011 Political Declaration on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases "a watershed moment", saying that it enticed bold commitments to act while putting prevention forward as the cornerstone of a global response. In September 2011, WHO released the first set of non-communicable diseases country profiles, highlighting the status of NCDs in each WHO member state. This second set of profiles built on this earlier report and provided an updated overview of the NCD situation for each country. The focus in these new profiles is on presenting information for each country related to their NCD mortality, risk factors and national systems capacity to prevent and control NCDs.