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Commonwealth health ministers tackle non-communicable diseases

May 15, 2011 - GENEVA

Health ministers and senior officials of the Commonwealth of Nations, the bloc of former British Commonwealth countries, meet to discuss how to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) -- cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The meeting is one of several in preparation for a United Nations summit on NCDs in September. Russia held one in April. The 64th World Health Organization Assembly opens in Geneva on the following day.The Secretariat has set NCD issues as a priority for the Commonwealth. In a statement, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma

Health ministers and senior officials of the Commonwealth of Nations, the bloc of former British Commonwealth countries, meet to discuss how to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) -- cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The meeting is one of several in preparation for a United Nations summit on NCDs in September. Russia held one in April. The 64th World Health Organization Assembly opens in Geneva on the following day. The Secretariat has set NCD issues as a priority for the Commonwealth. In a statement, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma noted that the burden of non-communicable diseases is evident in every corner of the Commonwealth, and is impacting rich and poor countries at all levels of society. "The increase of these diseases has become far more than a health challenge. It is now a human development challenge which needs to be tackled urgently,'; he said.At the Commonwealth Summit in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009, world leaders issued a statement on the growing burden of NCDs and called for a United Nations (UN) Summit to develop strategic response to the problem. The findings of the Geneva summit will contribute to the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly Non-communicable Disease Summit in September. According to the WHO, NCDs cause 60 per cent of deaths worldwide and are projected to account for more than 75 per cent of global deaths by 2030. Experts say they pose a serious threat to sustainable development and are undermining the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, given the close association between health and development. Of the 35 million deaths from NCDs each year, eight out of 10 come from middle and low income countries, many of which do not have programs to tackle the problem. (WRITTEN Sep 2011)

Commonwealth Health ministers to tackle non-communicable diseases (APP 20 Apr 2011)

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Date written/update: 2011-05-15