Disease Outbreak News

WHO convenes the first ever Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue to Address Risk Factors for NCDs in the WHO African Region

Brazzaville, 5 March 2013  -- About 200 participants will meet from 18 to 20 March in Johannesburg, South Africa, for  the first ever stakeholders’ dialogue to address risk factors for noncommunicable diseases  (NCDs) in the World Health Organization (WHO)  African Region. The theme of the meeting is: “Today’s risk factors are tomorrow's diseases.”

This unique forum will see the participation of the 46 countries of the Region, economic operators; non-governmental and consumer organisations; research institutions; regional intergovernmental organisations and partners.

A number of government ministries other than the health sector will also be represented at the meeting where discussions will focus on how  these different sectors can work together to address the growing NCD burden in the Region.

The main NCDs include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and the consequences of violence and unintentional injuries particularly road traffic injuries. The four main risk factors for NCDs that are modifiable and these include tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. The biological risk factors associated with the NCDs include overweight and obesity, and elevated blood pressure and high blood sugar level as well as fatty substances, including cholesterol, that are present in blood. All these risk factors for NCDs act alone or in combination to produce undesired health outcomes.

Most of these factors are related to behaviour and lifestyle and are, to a large extent, preventable through measures taken at individual, community and government levels. At least 80% of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases and 40% of common cancers are preventable.

WHO African Region faces a rapidly increasing burden of NCDs along with the continuing threat from communicable diseases.

In 2008, about 2.8 million deaths globally were attributed to NCDs and this figure is projected to increase by 27% over the next 10 years, with low to middle income countries being affected the most if remedial action is not taken. About 33% of these NCD-related deaths occur in persons who are less than 60 years of age, and are therefore considered as premature deaths, and has huge economic implications for countries
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For more information, please contact:

Dr Davison Munodawafa; Tel: 47-242-39476; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr Jean-Marie Dangou; Tel 47-241-39344; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Samuel T. Ajibola; Tel: 39378; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Related links:

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue to Address Risk Factors for NCDs in the WHO African Region, 18 to 20 March 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa