The next health tsunami: Noncommunicable diseases

July 08, 2009

GENEVA, Switzerland, 8 July 2009 - The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) called today on the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to take immediate action to avert the fastest growing threat by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to global health.

NCDs which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease, cause 60% of all deaths globally and 80% of these are in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that globally NCD deaths will increase by 17% over the next 10 years. The greatest increase will be seen in the African region (27%) and the Eastern Mediterranean region (25%). The highest absolute number of deaths will occur in the W. Pacific and S.E. Asia regions.

The global call, issued by the three organizations at the meeting of the UN ECOSOC in Geneva, demands five essential actions:

  1. Call for an 'MDG Plus' containing NCD progress indicators in the 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) review
  2. Support the availability of essential medicines for people living with NCDs
  3. Support a UN General Assembly Special Session on NCDs
  4. Support the immediate and substantial increase of funding for NCDs
  5. Integrate NCD prevention into national health systems and the global development agenda


The UN MDGs state that health is critical to the economic, political and social development of all countries, yet they contain no goals or targets for NCDs, which are the largest threat to health systems.

Public health experts are expecting ECOSOC leaders to show the way in confronting this health crisis faced by millions. The emerging epidemic of NCDs is threatening to overwhelm healthcare systems worldwide unless action is taken.

"This tsunami didn't arise yesterday; it evolved over time and is getting worse. We need a revolution to change the trajectory if we are serious," stated Dr Leslie Ramsammy, Minister of Health, Guyana at this morning's WHO Ministerial breakfast meeting. The World Economic Forum's 2009 Global Risks report supports this with evidence that the incidence of chronic disease is rising across both the developed and developing world. Medical advances and awareness can reduce the risk severity but chronic non-communicable diseases are still the main cause of death worldwide.

Evidence shows that up to 80% of NCDs can be prevented by addressing risk factors like unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use and those that are non-preventable can be treated inexpensively with essential medicines. While medicines such as aspirin, penicillin, insulin and morphine have been on the Essential Medicines List for years, they still remain beyond the reach of many.

The three NGOs request that the final declaration of the ECOSOC High Level Segment include a call for NCD indicators to be included in the 2010 review of the MDGs to form an 'MDG Plus', as this fast emerging global threat has not, to date, been addressed.

The three organizations together represent 730 member organizations in over 170 countries and vast networks of health care professionals, patient, and civil society organizations. They have joined forces to create a powerful voice for change and urge ECOSOC to take action in the face of the NCD epidemic.
-end-
Note to Editors

About IDF

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, representing over 250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare providers. The mission of IDF is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. For more information visit www.idf.org

About UICC

The International Union Against Cancer (UICC) unites 335 member organizations in 105 countries in the global fight against cancer. It is the leading international non-governmental organization dedicated exclusively to the global control of cancer. UICC is working towards a vision of a dynamic global community of connected cancer control organizations, professionals and volunteers working together to eliminate cancer as a major life-threatening disease for future generations. For more information please visit our website: www.uicc.org

About WHF

The World Heart Federation (WHF) is a nongovernmental organization committed to helping the global population achieve a longer and better life through prevention and control of heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. WHF membership is comprised of 198 medical societies and heart foundations in more than 100 countries. For more information please visit our website: www.worldheart.org

International Diabetes Federation

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.