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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

UN targets the "epidemic of NCDs"

UN targets the "epidemic of NCDs"
International summit considers how to stem the rise in non-communicable diseases.
 "According to UN, NCDs such as cardiovascular disease and cancer killed 36 million people in 2008, accounting for 63% of all deaths. Although NCDs are often mistakenly thought of as diseases of affluence, more than 80% of the NCD deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries (see 'Total deaths'). And also one needs to look at the deaths caused by the infectious diseases, especially in the lower middle income sector. By 2030, says the UN, the global annual toll of NCD will rise to 52 million deaths.

 Johanna Ralston, chief executive of the World Heart Federation says, the case for action in poorer countries is compelling. The rate of increase of total NCD deaths in poorer countries is faster than in the past, potentially overwhelming underdeveloped health systems, she says.
Indeed, the outlook for poorer countries that have dysfunctional health-care systems, or that fail to tackle disease risk factors, could be bleak, says Mathers. In West Africa, for example, high blood pressure is common yet often goes untreated, even though cheap drugs are available. "There are enormous amounts of NCD in low-income countries that are preventable, but which aren't being prevented because of failed health systems," he says. more