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World leaders promise solutions to non-communicable disease growth

Monday February 19th, 2018

World leaders have promised “bold and innovative” solutions to tackle the growing rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The World Health Organisation says several leaders have joined its high-level commission on non-communicable diseases.

It attributes 70% of deaths annually to these diseases – often because of tobacco, alcohol, diet and inactivity.

The commission includes former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg along with Russian health minister Veronika Skvortsova, one of the commission co-chairs.

Other co-chairs are the Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, Uruguayan president Tabaré Vázquez and Finnish president Sauli Niinistö.

Mr Bloomberg said: “For the first time in history, more people are dying of noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, than infectious diseases. This loss of human life spares no one — rich or poor, young or old - and it imposes heavy economic costs on nations.

“The more public support we can build for government policies that are proven to save lives - as this Commission will work to do - the more progress we'll be able to make around the world."

Another co-chair, Pakistani minister Dr Sania Nishtar said: “While there have been improvements in some countries and regions, the overall rate of progress has been unacceptably slow. This is resulting in too many people suffering and dying needlessly from non-communicable diseases, and leaving families, communities and governments to bear the human and economic costs.”

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “I am looking to the Commission to show us new ways to unblock the barriers to good health, and identify innovative, bold and practical actions steps to scale up prevention and treatment of NCDs and provide health for all.”

Tags: Asia | Cancer | Diabetes | Europe | Heart Health | Respiratory | South America | World Health

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