IOGT International celebrates One Year Anniversary of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs

The “slow-motion catastrophe” of NCDs – as the Director-General of United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) Margaret Chan calls it – could overwhelm even the wealthiest nations, if the root causes of the epidemic, mostly lifestyle decisions, are not addressed.

Therefore, the global community gathered for a UN High-Level Meeting on the prevention and control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) from 19-20 September 2011 and adopted a Political Declaration.

”The members of IOGT International truly cherish this display of political will to curb one of the world’s most pressing issues,” says Mr. Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International.
”Today we use the opportunity to voice our continued commitment to prevent NCDs through our heart-driven work in communities worldwide.”

NCDs account for as much as 63% of all deaths worldwide. It means that they cause 36 million out of 57 million global deaths.They are largely preventable by means of cost-effective interventions that tackle shared risk factors: alcohol use, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity.
The use of alcohol causes 2.5 million deaths every year. There are 320,000 young people between 15 and 29 who have o die from alcohol-related causes. That amounts to 9% of all deaths in that age worldwide.

”For us it is a matter of heart to really point out that so much harm and suffering can be prevented,” says Mr. Carlsson.
”If the NCD risk factors were to be eliminated, ¾ of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancers would be prevented. Just by preventing alcohol harm so much good can be done for the world. So much potential can be freed.”

NCDs cause poverty and poverty causes NCDs. They are clearly a development issue and at the same time they affect all regions, the developed and developing world with their impact on the lives of human beings, families, communities, and the economic performance of societies. The workforce in countries around the world looses millions of their most productive members in the primes of their lives.

”Looking ahead and having on mind the burden of NCDs, we express our support for an ambitious Global Action Plan. It must include the high-impact and cost-effective interventions known as ‘Best Buys‘. And it must reduce exposure to all four NCDs risk factors,” says Mr. Carlsson.
”We also strongly support and contribute to the development of the Global NCD Framework, that promotes the integration of NCD prevention and control into all relevant policy areas, and which contains global targets that drive real progress to prevent NCDs,” explains Mr. Carlsson.

”That means for us, an overall target to reduce premature mortality by 25% by 2025 and that the target of a 10% relative reduction in persons aged 15+ alcohol consumption with the associated indicator ‘per capita consumption of litres of pure alcohol among persons 15+ years’ is an indispensable element.”

For more reading:

The IOGT International consultation contributions to the process of drawing up a Global Action Plan and a Monitoring Framework to prevent NCDs.

The NCD Alliance, our partner and their Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Joint report of WHO and World Economic Forum: From Burden to ‘Best Buys’. Reducing the economic impact of NCDs

Reducing risks and preventing disease: Population-wide interventions

Frequently Asked Questions about NCDs and the answers from the WHO Regional Office South-East Asia

From The Guardian ‘Poverty Matters Blog’: “Why non-communicable diseases must be part of any new development goals”

World Health Organisation: 10 facts on NCDs

From Science Blog an article about the very beginning of the momentum to fight NCDs