UN Summit ends with adoption of measures to curb death toll from noncommunicable diseases

New York, 20 September 2011 -- The landmark UN high-level conference on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) ended on Tuesday in New York after considering strategies to prevent and control mostly life-style and diet-related diseases that have become major killers in Africa and across the world.

Delegates at the two-day meeting hosted by the General Assembly, on Monday adopted a declaration calling for wide ranging actions to stem the rising tide of NCDs such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, chronic respiratory disease and cancer which together kill some 36 million people each year. It is projected that, globally, deaths from NCDs will rise by a further 17% over the next 10 years, but the greatest increase (27%), is expected to be seen in the African region.

Governments agreed on the need for global targets to monitor these diseases and their risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. The UN General Assembly has asked WHO to develop a framework for monitoring global progress and to prepare, before the end of 2012, recommendations for a set of global targets to monitor trends and assess progress in countries

Success will depend on the engagement of non-health sectors such as finance, agriculture, transportation, urban development, and trade. Governments will integrate noncommunicable diseases into national health policies and strategic plans and national development agendas to address this scourge. The declaration is a clear signal that global leaders acknowledge the devastating impact of noncommunicable diseases worldwide and that they are committed to accelerating efforts towards its prevention and treatment as well as improvement in health care including better access to vital medicines.
The declaration is a clear signal that global leaders acknowledge the devastating impact of noncommunicable diseases worldwide and that they are committed to greater efforts to its prevention and treatment as well as improvement in health care including better access to vital medicines.

In April this year, countries in the WHO African Region adopted the Brazzaville Declaration calling for urgent action to address major NCDs and priority conditions which represent “a significant challenge” to people in the African region: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, diseases of blood disorder (in particular sickle cell disease), mental health, violence and injuries.

Related links:

UN General Assembly announces historic commitment to fight noncommunicable diseases
Brazzaville Declaration
United Nations high level meeting on noncommunicable diseases

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