Cancer, diabetes, lung, heart diseases kill 41m yearly, says WHO

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The World Health Organisation ( WHO ) has said that collectively, cancer, diabetes , lung and heart diseases kill 41 million yearly , accounting for 71 per cent of all deaths globally , 15 million of which occur between the age of 30 and 70 .

A new report from WHO Independent High- level Commission on Non -Communicable Diseases ( NCDs ) , released on Sunday and published in the medical journal The Lancet , urged urgent action to address chronic diseases and mental health disorders . It demands high -level political commitment and immediate scaling up of actions to address the epidemic of NCDs, the world ’s leading causes of death and ill – health .

According to the WHO , “NCDs , including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes , chronic respiratory diseases and mental disorders , tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic , physiological , environmental and behavioural factors . Tobacco use, physical inactivity , the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from a NCD.

Detection, screening and treatment of NCDs , as well as palliative care , are key components of the response to NCDs . WHO also recognises that air pollution is a critical risk factor for NCDs .”

The commission makes six recommendations in its report , which include:
• Heads of State and Government should take responsibility for the NCD agenda , rather than delegating it to ministers of health alone , as it requires collaboration and co -operation across many sectors ,
• Governments should identify and implement a specific set of priorities within the overall NCD and mental health agenda , based on public health needs, among others .

Also , it warned that plastic packaging, disposable cups and rubber contain a chemical , which probably gives people cancer. Meanwhile, the WHO Commission Co -chair , Dr . Sania Nishtar, said : “We know the problem and we have the solutions , but unless we increase financing for NCDs , and demand all stakeholders be held responsible for delivering on their promises , we won’ t be able to accelerate progress .

Also , WHO Director -General , Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus , said : “WHO was founded 70 years ago on the conviction that health is a human right to be enjoyed by all people , and not a privilege for the few. The recommendations of this report are an important step towards realising that right by preventing the suffering and death caused by NCDs .”

President of Uruguay , Dr . Tabaré Vázquez, who called on world leaders to “redouble efforts ” to meet the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) target to reduce premature death from NCDs by one- third by 2030 and to promote mental health and well- being , said : “Preserving and improving people ’s quality of life is a way of enhancing human dignity to make progress in terms of economic growth , social justice and human co – existence. ”

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