Noncommunicable diseases now ‘top killers globally’ – UN health agency report |
The report and new data portal, was launched on the sidelines of the 77th session of the General Assembly, at an event co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
NCDs constitute one of the greatest health and development challenges of this century, according to WHO.
Chief among them are cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke; cancer; and diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – as well as mental health illnesses.
Together they account for nearly three-quarters of deaths in the world, taking 41 million lives every year.
The report, Invisible numbers: The true extent of noncommunicable diseases and what to do about them, highlights NCDs statistics to illustrate the true scale of the threats and risk factors they pose.
It also shows cost-effective and globally applicable interventions that can lower those numbers and save lives and money.
“This report is a reminder of the true scale of the threat posed by NCDs and their risk factors,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Sharing the latest country-specific data, risk factors and policy implementation for 194 countries, the NCD data portal brings the numbers in the report to life.
Moreover, it allows data exploration on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases along with their main drivers and risk factors, which include tobacco, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and lack of physical activity.
The portal spotlights patterns and trends throughout countries and allows comparison across nations and/or within geographical regions.
“There are cost-effective and globally applicable NCD interventions that every country, no matter its income level, can and should be using and benefitting from – saving lives and saving money,” said Tedros.
To date, only a handful of countries are on track to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of reducing early deaths from NCDs by a third.