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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has launched a new report calling on global leaders to take urgent action on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to the WHO, NDCs are responsible for 17 million premature deaths annually.
To accelerate action, the WHO Director-General renewed the two-year appointment of Michael R. Bloomberg as the organisation’s Global Ambassador for Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries.
It is Bloomberg’s third reappointment as Ambassador.
His first appointment in the role was in 2016.
The new WHO report on non-communicable diseases is entitled “Invisible Numbers: The true scale of non-communicable diseases.”
There’s also a data portal that for the first time, brings together all WHO data related to NCDs for 194 countries.
A WHO news release said the report and portal highlight the extent of the global NCD burden, risk factors, and the progress each country is making in efforts to combat these diseases and conditions.
Every two seconds, someone under 70 somewhere in the world dies of an NCD.
Non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and lung disease now outnumber infectious diseases as the top killers globally.
“This report is a reminder of the true scale of the threat posed by NCDs and their risk factors,” said Dr. Tedros
The WHO noted that the public’s awareness of the links between NCDs and their risk factors such, as tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, and lack of physical activity, is low.
But the organisation observed that the majority of people surveyed across all countries support a wide number of proven interventions and policies that can reduce deaths from NCDs, such as incorporating more green spaces in urban health design and increasing taxes on tobacco.
While every Member State of the United Nations has committed to reducing premature death from NCDs by one-third by 2030 – an effort that could save millions of lives – few countries are currently on track to achieve it.
As a result, the WHO has asserted that urgent global efforts are needed to get back on track to reach Sustainable Development Goal targets and reduce premature deaths from NCDs.
Headline photo: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Stock image)