WHO/Andrew Esiebo
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                                Noncommunicable diseases

                                  Overview

                                  Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.

                                  The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.

                                  The epidemic of NCDs poses devastating health consequences for individuals, families and communities, and threatens to overwhelm health systems. The socioeconomic costs associated with NCDs make the prevention and control of these diseases a major development imperative for the 21st century.

                                  WHO’s mission is to provide leadership and the evidence base for international action on surveillance, prevention and control of NCDs. Urgent government action is needed to meet global targets to reduce the burden of NCDs.

                                  Prevention

                                  One of the most important ways of reducing deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is to control unhealthy lifestyle choices that lead to their development. These include reducing the use of tobacco and the harmful use of alcohol, maintaining an active lifestyle and developing a healthy diet. Promotional activities towards these goals are low-cost ways for countries to reduce the number of NCD deaths. Tackling these risk factors can not only save lives, but also provide a huge economic boost for countries. 

                                  Beyond prevention methods, management of NCDs is critical. This includes detection, screening and treatment of the diseases, as well as palliative care for those in need. The vast majority of premature deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries, where universal health coverage or access to health care services is often limited. The development and promotion of universal health coverage is therefore essential in tackling NCDs and working to reduce the number of preventable global deaths. 

                                  WHO Response

                                  Reducing the major risk factors of NCDs – primarily tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity – is the focus of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs. In 2013, WHO develop the Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020. The plan included nine global targets with the greatest impact towards prevention and management of NCDs. 

                                  Noncommunicable diseases are recognized as a major global challenge in the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The Agenda sets the goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030 through prevention and treatment. WHO plays a key leadership role in the coordination and promotion of the global fight against NCDs and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals target 3.4. 

                                  In 2014, WHO launched the Global coordination mechanism on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (GCM/NCD). The first of its kind, this instrument helps Member States, UN organizations and partners to engage in cross-sectoral collaboration to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases.

                                  71%

                                  of all deaths

                                  are due to noncommunicable diseases

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                                  41 Million

                                  People die each year

                                  because of noncommunicable diseases

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                                  Three Quarter

                                  of deaths

                                  from NCDs occur in low - and middle-income countries

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                                  TEAM 11th meeting report

                                  In 2015, WHO and UNICEF established an independent Technical Expert Advisory group on nutrition Monitoring (TEAM) to advise on enhancing nutrition monitoring...

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                                  Project update?Since the last update, we have?continued our?progress on Workstream 2 – Digital Adaptation Kit (DAK).??The DAK has?now?been subdivided...

                                  This paper presents the scope and baselines of the nine NCD targets and additional considerations in monitoring the implementation of NCD GAP to 2030....

                                  The Global Breast Cancer Initiative, established by WHO in 2021, will provide guidance to governments on health systems strengthening for breast cancer....

                                  Publications

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                                  Strengthening NCD service delivery through UHC benefit package: technical meeting report, Geneva, Switzerland, 14-15
July 2020

                                  All countries, regardless of economic or political status, face challenges in providing their populations with Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and accessible,...

                                  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on noncommunicable disease resources and services: results of a rapid assessment

                                  This report presents the results of a rapid assessment conducted by the NCD Department in May 2020 detailing the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic...

                                  Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2020

                                  In May 2015 the World Health Organization published a Technical Note on how WHO will report in 2017 to the United Nations General Assembly on the progress...

                                  The Power of Cities: Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases and Road Traffic Injuries

                                  City case studiesAccra, GhanaBalanga City, The PhilippinesBangalore, IndiaBangkok, ThailandBeijing, ChinaBogor, IndonesiaBogota, ColombiaCape Town, South...

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                                  Mr Menno van Hilten
                                  Senior External Relations Officer
                                  [email protected]
                                  Office.: +41 22 791 26 75
                                  Mobile: +41 79 457 09 29