UN draft on chronic diseases criticised as being weak

Fri, 09 Sep 2011
The NCD Alliance, a group of health organisations from around the world focused on chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs), have criticised the draft statement issued by a United Nations summit on chronic diseases. The group, made up of 2,000 health groups, said that the draft was a great disappointment, as it offers no new targets or commitments in the fight against chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart and lung disease.

The NCD Alliance, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health groups had demanded that the summit commit to reducing preventable deaths from NCDs by a quarter by 2025.

The alliance claim that there are a number of important omissions from the new declaration, and that having a target for lowering the amount of deaths from NCDs should be a vital goal.

Ann Keeling, chairwoman of the NCD Alliance, commented "There is very strong language... about recognition of the problem and the need to act. But there are no strong, time-bound commitments in there, so it's a great disappointment from that point of view."

NCDs are known to be the main cause of death worldwide every year, resulting in about 36 million deaths in 2008, accounting for 63 per cent of all mortalities. They are also expected to increase in the next couple of decades, to number around 52 million per year by 2030.
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