WHO Report On NCDs Praises Efforts By Countries, But Not Enough

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By Catherine Saez

A World Health Organization report launched yesterday showed progress has been achieved in the fight against non-communicable diseases but it has been uneven, as some 38 million people die each year from those diseases.

The Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2014 [pdf] provides an overview of the current status of NCDs in each WHO member state. It found that progress within countries was substantial as over 90 percent of the 178 countries surveyed “have a unit or department in the Ministry of Health responsible for NCDs.”

The report, launched on the side of a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, is based on four behavioural and metabolic risk factors: tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, and obesity. NCDs include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

The report underlines that “while many countries have started to align their policies and resources with the nine global targets and the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020, progress in countries has been insufficient and highly uneven.”

The fight against NCDs was a prominent issue discussed at the World Health Assembly in May (IPW, WHO, 19 May 2014).

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