Top Line

Non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer are responsible for nearly three-quarters of deaths worldwide, but are often “overlooked and underfunded” because few understand their true impact. report good From the World Health Organization published on Wednesday, which urges countries to tackle the issue with proven and cost-effective interventions that are readily available.

Key Facts

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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the most important public health and development challenges of the century and inaction kill more than infectious diseases, WHO said in the report, which was released at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The report states that NCDs are responsible for nearly 17 million premature deaths every year and that every two seconds someone under the age of 70 dies.

The report found that the majority of these premature deaths, 86 percent, are in low- and middle-income countries, and many “could have been prevented by investment in proven, cost-effective interventions.” Told American billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who is the WHO ambassador for NCDs.

The report said that all UN member states have committed to reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030 – one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – with few countries achieving it. are on the way.

While the risk factors for many NCDs are well understood—tobacco use and unhealthy diets kill more than 8 million people each year, alcohol consumption by another 1.7 million and physical inactivity 830,000, WHO estimates—in the report. That said, very little is being done because many simply do not understand the scale of the problem.

The organization estimates that at least 39 million NCD deaths could be prevented by 2030 if “every country adopts interventions that are known to work.”

big number

41 million people. WHO estimates how many people NCDs kill each year around the world. The report finds that heart disease – a collection of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels – is the world's biggest killer and is responsible for 17.9 million deaths annually. Other major NCDs, some of the world's top killers, are cancer (9.3 million deaths each year), chronic respiratory diseases (4.1 million) and diabetes (2 million). Beyond death, each NCD can have a huge impact on the quality of life of those affected and can also make them more vulnerable to other diseases. This was illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO said, where people living with NCDs suffered worse outcomes than those without. For the past two years, COVID has remained the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

main background

Public health advances in recent decades have meant that infectious, or communicable, diseases no longer dominate the leading causes of premature death worldwide. This issue, which has been known for decades in many prosperous countries, is now rapidly reaching alarming levels in developing countries such as ChinaHowever, these health emergencies are often more hidden than outbreaks of infectious disease. The invisible nature of NCDs is illustrated by the fact that they generally do not receive funding and public health efforts commensurate with their impact, despite little known about its cause. This is true in all countries, not just the less affluent, and the report says all countries can improve. It emphasizes that relatively little investment in the prevention and treatment of NCDs can yield large returns. "The data paint a clear picture," the WHO report said. "The problem is the world isn't seeing it."

tangent line

WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organization has renewed Bloomberg's appointment as its global ambassador for NCDs and injuries by two years. Bloomberg, a billionaire who co-founded financial information and media company Bloomberg LP in 1981 and served 12 years as mayor of New York City, was first appointed to the role in 2016. “As we continue to respond to and prepare for this pandemic. Next, we see the critical importance of addressing a major risk factor in Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths – non-communicable diseases,” Bloomberg said. NCDs are "the world's biggest silent killers – but they can often be prevented by investing in proven, cost-effective interventions," he said.

forbes evaluation

$76.8 billion. This is according to Bloomberg's estimated net worth Forbes' real time tracker. This makes him the 13th richest person in the world at the time of writing. Bloomberg has donated billions to charities, a large portion of which goes toward initiatives designed to address the risk factors that drive NCDs, such as: Shortage tobacco use.

The Invisible Number: The True Scale of Non-Communicable Diseases (WHO)

China's 'hidden epidemics': preventable diseases that could reshape a nation (Guardian)