Health Policy

The UN tackles noncommunicable diseases

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eHEALTH Bureau

The United Nations General Assembly has recently adopted resolution in Geneva on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases – mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – which kill nearly 35 million people each year, including almost 9 million before the age of 60. WHO welcomes the UN on the adoption of the resolution.

The resolution seeks to halt the increasing trends in premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases worldwide. If trends continue unabated, deaths will rise to an estimated 41.2 million a year by 2015.

“There is a sense of urgency. This resolution will help us increase action to address the leading cause of death in the world,” says Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director General, WHO.

The resolution calls to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in September 2011, with the participation of Heads of State and Government, on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases; include at the high-level Plenary Meeting next September to review the Millennium Development Goals discussions on the rising incidence and the socio-economic impact of noncommunicable diseases in developing countries; request the UN Secretary-General to prepare a global status report on noncommunicable diseases, with a particular focus on the developmental challenges faced by developing countries.

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