Global week for action on NCDs: 3-9 Sept

The Union has joined with thousands of individuals and organisations this week for the first ever Global Week for Action on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), ahead of the third United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs to be held in New York on 27 September.

Hundreds of partners from across the globe are calling on governments to take assertive action to deliver progress on NCD prevention and control. 

NCDs are the world’s leading cause of death and disability, and are the focus of a Sustainable Development Goal target to reduce premature mortality by a third by 2030 - which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres, is currently unlikely to be achieved without much more assertive action. 

The Political Declaration expected to be adopted during the UN General Assembly later this month will go some way toward advancing efforts to curb the alarming trajectory of the NCD burden. However, without much greater investment and accountability, the commitments that they have made in the past and will make at the forthcoming High-Level Meeting on NCDs  will not be realised, and more lives will be lost. 

Unfortunately implementation of many of the most cost effective, evidence based measures to prevent and control NCDs has been lacking in many countries. This is despite the return on investment on known ‘Best Buys’, which are measures for preventing and controlling NCDs, increasing to US $7 for every dollar spent in low-and middle-income countries.  

Given that many of the factors that influence the rise of NCDs exist outside of the health sector - such as trade, education, transport and agriculture - it is vital that senior political leaders engage in NCDs, to ensure a comprehensive, coherent, multi-sectoral response to their determinants and the systems needed to provide treatment and care for people living with these diseases. 

The first Global Week for Action on NCDs, from 3-9 September, is an initiative of NCD Alliance, themed ENOUGH. Our Health. Our Right. Right Now. It is a unifying and rallying opportunity for advocates and activists to celebrate where progress has been made, and call on governments everywhere to step up to translate commitments into action that will lead to meaningful progress.