- Assistant Secretary Daulaire Speaks on Childhood Obesity
- Recognizing World Cancer Day: February 4, 2013
- Measuring Progress on NCDs: WHO Member States Set Voluntary Global Targets
- The Check-Up: Non-Communicable Diseases
- Cancer Across the Globe
- Global Fight Against NCDs Gathers Momentum by Nils Daulaire and Sir George Alleyne, Huffington Post, September 12, 2012
On This Page:
Chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the number one cause of death and disability in the world.
The major NCDs, that are responsible for almost 2/3 deaths annually, are:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Chronic respiratory diseases
The term NCDs encompasses many conditions that:
- Are not caused by an acute infection
- Cause long-term harm
- Create a need for long-term (or even life-long) treatment
NCDs can be prevented most of the time. Common risk factors that can be reduced are:
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of exercise
- Harmful use of alcohol
Other non-communicable conditions also contribute to disease worldwide. These include mental and neuropsychiatric disorders, oral diseases, injuries, blindness, and others.
- Over 80% of the estimated 35 million annual deaths are in low- and middle-income countries
- Over 25% are among people below the age of 60
The United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs
The international community is very concerned about the effect of NCDs on families, communities, and nations. In response, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2011 held a meeting on NCD prevention and control. The goal of the meeting was to address the issue from all sides, including government, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
UN Member States adopted a political declaration calling on the World Health Organization(WHO) to develop a global monitoring framework and recommend voluntary global targets to prevent and control NCDs. Countries also committed to strengthen their national responses to NCDs and to increase international collaboration, working across government, civil society and the private sector.
In May 2012, the 65thWorld Health Assembly adopted the first global target – to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by 25 percent by 2025. In November 2012, WHO Member States finalized the global monitoring framework, including 25 indicators of progress, and agreed on a final set of nine voluntary global targets to:
- Cut avoidable, premature deaths from the leading NCDs by 25 percent
- Decrease leading risk behaviors, namely tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, physical inactivity, excess salt/sodium intake
- Stop the rise in diabetes and obesity, and reduce population levels of raised blood pressure
- Encourage access to essential medicines and technologies for NCDs and promote appropriate use of drug therapy to reduce heart attacks and strokes
The NCD Summit was a unique chance to improve the United States' response to NCDs. The Summit also accelerated the execution of evidence-based NCD-related policies and programs. In 2013, WHO and its Member States will finalize a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (2013-2020), building on the outcomes of the NCDs Summit and existing WHO strategies and tools to promote country-level and global progress on NCDs.
NCDs and HHS
HHS supports many ways of preventing and controlling NCDs around the world. HHS supports basic, clinical, and applied research. HHS supports health systems strengthening activities, including training and workforce development. HHS also partners with multilateral institutions, which are organizations of multiple countries working together toward a common goal. Together, they develop, promote, and implement evidence-based health policies.
OGA, under HHS, leads multilateral efforts on global NCD issues. They work with partners at the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization. They also help coordinate HHS divisions and institutes working internationally.
For more information, please visit the links below.
- CDC's Prevention Research Centers
- CDC's Chronic Disease Epidemiology Group
- Global Tobacco Surveillance System
- Global School-based Student Health Survey
- FIC's Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan (NCD-LIFESPAN)
- FIC's International Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building Program (TOBAC)
- NIMH Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health
Health Systems Strengthening
- CDC's Field Epidemiology Training Program
- FIC's Medical Education Partnership Initiative
- National Cancer Institute's global portfolio
- Global Network of Collaborating Centers of Excellence
- 2011 UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs
- World Health Organization (WHO)/CDC Collaborating Center on Physical Activity
- WHO: Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health
- Pan-American Health Organization: Chronic Disease Prevention and Control