Heads of states and governments formed a new leadership group to accelerate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of a one-third reduction in “premature” deaths from non communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes, cancer, heart and lung disease and the promotion of mental health and well-being.
The new Global Compact on NCDs was launched at the inaugural International Strategic Dialogue on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and the Sustainable Development Goals held on April 12 in Accra , Ghana. The dialogue was co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the Governments of Ghana and Norway.
Return on Investment in NCDs Best Buy solutions
Risk factors including tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and air pollution lead to NCDs causing 7 out of 10 deaths globally. But NCDs are largely preventable and treatable.
Spending just US$ 0.84 per person per year from now until 2030 can save nearly 7 million lives.
This investment would realize more than US$ 230 billion in economic and societal benefits and avert nearly 10 million heart attacks and strokes globally by 2030.
Keeping people healthy reduces health costs, increases productivity and leads to longer and healthier lives, according to a WHO report from December 2021.
The “Saving lives, spending less: the case for investing in noncommunicable diseases” report focuses on 76 low- and lower-middle-income countries and shows how every dollar invested in scaling up Best Buy actions could generate a return.
Regarding the return on investment, the report shows that the alcohol policy Best Buy solutions are the second best set of options among all 16 NCD Best Buys. The report also highlights alcohol and tobacco taxation specifically, as high-impact measures to finance NCDs prevention.
The Global Compact on NCDs
The NCD Compact group plans to gather countries championing the NCD agenda and will convene annually at the UN General Assembly. The first meeting is expected to take place in September 2022.
The group has five key areas of commitment:
- Saving, by 2030, the lives of 50 million people from dying prematurely of NCDs by implementing the most cost-effective measures to prevent and control NCDs;
- Protecting 1.7 billion people living with NCDs by ensuring that they have access to the medicines and care they need during humanitarian emergencies;
- Integrating NCDs within primary health care and universal health coverage;
- Comprehensive NCD surveillance and monitoring; and
- Meaningfully engaging 1.7 billion people living with NCDs and mental health conditions in policy-making and programming.
Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo, President of Ghana, called on heads of states and governments to join him in giving leadership for NCD issues.
Tackling NCDs requires leadership to provide visibility to NCD issues,” said Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo, President of Ghana, as per WHO.
I ask my Heads of State colleagues to join hands with me as we establish a Presidential Group (non-binding), and as we find solutions to NCDs with a roadmap of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. In our time, this will be our legacy.”Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo, President of Ghana
NCDs cause human suffering, erode social capital and also have a heavy toll on economies. Political commitment was essential to overcoming NCDs said Dr. Tedros, the Director-General of WHO.
Apart from the lives they take, NCDs take a heavy toll on economies, cutting down people in their most productive years,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, as per the WHO.
Overcoming this challenge requires technical, financial, and above all, political commitment. I thank the Governments of Norway and Ghana for establishing the first Global Heads of State and Government Group on NCDs, and launching the Global NCD Compact 2020-2030.”Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
Norway’s Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre emphasized the importance of investing in NCDs to strengthen countries to respond better to pandemics and to achieve universal health coverage.
Investing in stronger health systems, service delivery and the prevention of NCDs will make vulnerable populations more resilient to COVID-19 and future pandemics,” said Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway, as per WHO.
This is also vital for promoting universal health coverage. NCD prevention, and access to treatment and medicine must be a core component in the efforts to enhance pandemic preparedness and response, and in building back better in the post-pandemic recovery,”Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway
World Health Organization: “WHO, Ghana and Norway agree to accelerate actions to save lives in first International Strategic Dialogue on Noncommunicable Diseases and the Sustainable Development Goals“
United Nations: “WHO welcomes initiative to combat noncommunicable diseases, responsible for 7 in 10 deaths worldwide“
Ghana Web: “President launches International Compact to address non-communicable diseases“