Non-communicable Diseases Cause 70% Deaths Worldwide, Says WHO


Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that non-communicable diseases account for more than 70 per cent of deaths worldwide.

In a statement issued friday, WHO said it would require strong collaboration with various governments around the world to end the scourge of non-communicable diseases.

The frightening statistics was contained in the report of the WHO Independent High-level Commission on non-communicable diseases convened by WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in October 2017 to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s leading causes of death; cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, respiratory diseases and mental health conditions.

The Commission highlighted that non-communicable diseases still account for more than 70 per cent of deaths and stressed that, “progress against NCDs and mental health conditions must be greatly accelerated if the 2030 Agenda is to succeed.”

It also noted that many countries faced challenges and need more support to implement solutions.

The report laid out a set of eight recommendations for WHO including encouraging Heads of State and Government to fulfil their commitment to provide strategic leadership by involving all relevant government departments, businesses, civil society groups as well as health professionals and people at risk from or suffering from NCDs and mental health conditions.

The report highlighted the need to encourage countries to invest in the prevention and control of NCDs and mental health conditions as a key opportunity to enhance human capital and accelerate economic growth.

It also recommended that Support be provided for countries in their efforts to empower individuals to make healthy choices, including by ensuring that the environment is conducive to living a healthy life, and that people receive the information they need to make healthy choices.