A high-level meeting on the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) was held at the United Nations Headquarters today. The basis of the discussion was that the global burden and threat of NCDs not only undermines social and economic development, but also threatens the achievement of internationally agreed upon development goals. This is leading to increasing inequalities within and between countries and populations. Therefore, the aim of the meeting was to reflect upon the progress achieved so far, share national experiences and a chart a collective path forward to reduce the preventable occurrence and impact of NCDs.
The representative of the United States posited that tackling chronic diseases is a major priority on the national agenda. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes account for seven out of ten deaths, cutting lives short by decades. For this purpose, the United States has launched the Affordable Care Act to expand access to key preventive services, addressing modifiable risk factors, and making treatment and care more affordable for millions of Americans. The United States also emphasised the need to improve nutrition, which is vital in reducing the burden of chronic diseases.
The representative of Israel put forward that the fight against NCDs must be a society-wide effort. Governments targeting the prevention and control of NCDs should focus on mobilising the public and private sectors, including civil society. The international community as a whole should cooperate and play an important role in helping countries reach global and national health targets.
The representative of Malaysia noted that one of the major challenges facing the international community is identifying a common regional response. This is primarily due to the complexities of NCDs and their risk factors, which cut across borders, as well as the capacity of each Member State to respond to the NCDs epidemic. Therefore, as a solution to this problem, Malaysia illustrated the ‘High-level Regional meeting on National Multi-sectoral Actions Plans for NCD Prevention and Control’ as an example of regional cooperation to assist countries in South-East Asia in formulating national multi-sectoral polices and plans for NCDs.
Meeting Title: Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases
Speakers: Representative of the U.S., Representative of Israel, Representative of Malaysia
Date: 10 July 2014
Location: General Assembly Hall, North Lawn Building, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan