Taskforce to prevent and control non-communicable diseases

July 26th, 2013

In another milestone in the global response to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, the United Nations has formally established a taskforce to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The taskforce will co-ordinate the activities of all UN organisations to implement the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020, which the World Health Assembly adopted in May.

The Action Plan aims to achieve nine voluntary global targets, including a 25% reduction in premature death from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 2025. The plan provides a road map and a menu of policy options for UN Member States, the WHO, other UN organisations, non-government organisations and private sector organisations to implement collectively.

WHO estimates show that three of the four leading causes of death worldwide are linked to NCDs. Most (86%) of deaths between the ages of 30 and 70 from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases occur in low- and middle-income countries, representing 12 million premature deaths per year.

As a member of the UICC and the NCD Alliance, NBCF is strongly supporting the advocacy campaign to keep cancer prevention and treatment on the global agenda, and welcomes this important milestone.