Source: World Health Organisation, 11 October 2017
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the
World Health Organization (WHO), announced today the establishment
of a new High-level global Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases
(NCDs). The announcement came at the 64th Session of WHO's Regional
Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean being held in Islamabad,
The commission's aim is to identify innovative ways to
curb the world's biggest causes of death and extend life expectancy
for millions of people. The commission will support ongoing
political efforts to accelerate action on cardiovascular disease,
cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, as well as reducing
suffering from mental health issues and the impacts of violence and
The High-level global Commission will be chaired by Dr
Sania Nishtar, a prominent global advocate for action against NCDs,
former Federal Minister of the government of Pakistan and civil
society leader. Dr Nishtar has also previously served as co-chair
of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.
NCDs kill approximately 40 million people globally each
year, accounting for 70% of all deaths. About 15 million of those
deaths are in people between the ages of 30 and 69. Low- and
middle-income countries are particularly affected by NCDs with more
than 80% of all deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries.
Violence and injuries take an overwhelming toll on young people,
In 2015, world leaders committed to reduce premature
deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030 as part of the Sustainable
Development Goals. Recent WHO reports indicate that the world will
struggle to meet that target.
"We urgently need new approaches and action on a
dramatically different scale if we are to stop people dying
unnecessarily from noncommunicable diseases," said Dr
"I am committed to engaging the very best people in the
world to address our health challenges," he added. "So, I am
especially pleased that Dr Nishtar has agreed to lead this
commission. I know she will bring impressive knowledge,
credibility, and commitment to this effort."
Later this month ministers and other health leaders from
around the world will review progress in Montevideo, Uruguay at the
WHO Global Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases, co-hosted by WHO
and the President of Uruguay. Governments and other stakeholders
will meet again at the third United Nations High-level meeting on
NCDs in 2018.