a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - UN agency lauds Assembly resolution on non-communicable diseases May 14 2010

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Here is a summary of the minutes on the UN Resolution vote from the UN website as well as a few press releases from UN and WHO on the issue. We do not yet have the final resolution and will place it on the FCA website and as soon as the UN makes it available. Next week a few of us will be attending WHA and we will report back to the FCA with additional updates. So please go to the FCA Website and the FCA intranet for more information.

Summary minutes: The Assembly also unanimously adopted a draft resolution contained in document A/64/L.52, by which it decided to convene a high-level meeting on “Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases” in September 2011 with the participation of Heads of State and Government. Towards that goal, it encouraged Member States to include in their discussion at the upcoming Assembly high-level plenary meeting in September on the review of the Millennium Development Goals the rising incidence and socio-economic impact of the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases worldwide.

Introducing that draft on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the representative of Trinidad and Tobago said that non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, accounted for 60 per cent of all deaths globally, but had not received the level of attention, coordination or funding that reflected their staggering mortality rate or socioeconomic impact. “Today, we begin the process of changing that oversight,” she said.

The representatives of Spain (on behalf of the European Union) and the United States welcomed that adoption after the vote. Spain’s representative, pledging the Union’s action on the issue, said that many of the diseases under discussion were avoidable and that prevention activities should focus on raising public awareness, improving knowledge and reinforcing preventive measures. Noting a lack of statistical data, he considered the World Health Organization (WHO) most likely to play a major role in developing and utilizing standardized indicators.

The representative of the United States said it was committed to reducing the threat of non-communicable diseases through initiatives of the President’s wife, Michelle Obama, and support to actions by other countries in a way that was complementary to the global strategies of the WHO.

UN agency lauds Assembly resolution on non-communicable diseases.

14 May 2010 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed yesterday’s adoption of a General Assembly resolution calling for the curbing of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death in the world.

Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, among other non-communicable diseases, claim nearly 35 million lives every year.

“There is a sense of urgency,” said the agency’s Assistant Director-General Ala Alwan. “Tackling these diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the 21st century.”

Last night’s resolution highlights the importance of supporting countries to enhance access to essential medicines and affordable medical technology.

It also called for a high-level Assembly meeting, with the participation of heads of State and government, to take place in New York in September 2011 on the issue.

Many of the deaths caused by non-communicable diseases in developing countries, WHO said, could be prevented by reducing exposure to tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, as well as improving early detection of breast and cervical cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure.

even declined in many high-income countries in recent decades, research points to deaths from these diseases increasing in all regions of the world.

In spite of signs that death rates from non-communicable diseases have stabilized or Continuing on the current trajectory, more than 40 million people will die from them annually by 2015, WHO said.

Last month, a WHO official told reporters in New York that non-communicable diseases are imposing a much greater burden on the poorest countries than on richer economies and must be tackled as a development issue.

“It’s not like we have to wait for these countries to develop their economy, then start to suffer from non-communicable diseases,” WHO Coordinator of Health Promotion Gauden Galea said. “We are talking about countries and populations that are already dying at much higher rates and much earlier than people do in the richer economies.”

The Director of the Population Division in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Hania Zlotnik, noted the irony that the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases in developing countries was the result of success in combating communicable diseases.

The consequent ageing of the population means that “people do not die early in life, they die much later in life and it is more likely that then they will die of a non-communicable disease,” she said.

Dr. Galea noted that four chronic diseases – cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory illness – are responsible for 60 per cent of the world’s deaths “and 80 per cent of these deaths are happening in the poorest populations of the world.”

UN agency lauds Assembly resolution on non-communicable diseases www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=34698&Cr=who&Cr1=disease

The UN tackles noncommunicable diseases 14 MAY 2010 | GENEVA | NEW YORK -- WHO welcomes the adoption last night of the United Nations General Assembly resolution 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.

The resolution seeks to halt the increasing trends in premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases worldwide.

"There is a sense of urgency," says WHO Assistant Director-General Dr Ala Alwan. "It will help us increase action to address the leading cause of death in the world. Tackling these diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the twenty-first century. "

Efforts will be undertaken to provide support to countries in enhancing access to essential medicines and affordable medical technology to combat noncommunicable diseases.

The resolution also calls on Member States and the international community 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; and
  • 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.

Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death for women in middle- and high-income countries and the second leading cause of death for women in low-income countries. Almost 90% of fatalities before the age of 60 occur in developing countries and can be largely prevented by reducing the level of exposure to tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol, and improve early detection of breast and cervical cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

While noncommunicable disease death rates in many high-income countries have stabilized or declined in recent decades, research suggests noncommunicable disease deaths are increasing in all regions of the world. If trends continue unabated, deaths will rise to an estimated 41.2 million a year by 2015.

This recent initiative comes on the heels of the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the ECOSOC High-level Segment in July this year, which called for urgent action to implement the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and its related Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2008. The "Doha Declaration on Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries" issued by the participants of the ECOSOC/UNESCWA/WHO Western Asia Ministerial Meeting organized in May 2009.

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