WHO creates high-level Commission to tackle NCDs
22 febrero 2018


Non-communicable diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced February 16th the creation of the Independent Global High Level Commission, composed of heads of state, ministers and leaders in health and development.

The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, explained that the Commission will run until October 2019 and its main focus will be to discuss innovative solutions to detect and control Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) more quickly and effectively.

The WHO said that NCDs, mainly tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity, are responsible for seven out of every ten deaths in the world per year. Also, the organization stated that more than 15 million people between 30 and 70 years die annually from one of these diseases.

In addition, people in middle and lower income countries are increasingly affected, and represent half of the total global premature deaths from these diseases.

The Commission will be headed by: Tabaré Vázquez, President of the Republic of Uruguay; Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka; Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland; Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of Russia; and Sania Nishtar, renowned Pakistani cardiologist. Among the rest of the members are Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, and Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba.

Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez said that “NCDs are one of the biggest global threats and the world is not doing enough to prevent and control them.” For her part, Dr. Nishtar said: “While there has been limited progress in the treatment of NCDs, greater efforts are needed to protect communities.”

Next steps

The Commission will meet March 2nd to work on the control of NCDs and will seek to make recommendations to the 3rd Assembly of the United Nations (UN) on NCDs, scheduled for the second semester of 2018.