Non-communicable diseases claim 1 life in every 2 seconds in the world: WHO

New Delhi: The World Health Organization on Thursday released a new report which brings together information on the non-communicable disease from 194 countries. Along with the report, it has also launched a data portal, The report is called “Invisible Numbers: The true scale of non-communicable diseases.” This report shows a clear picture of deaths that are occurring in the world due to non-communicable diseases. Non-communicable diseases have now become the world’s leading cause of disability and death. Almost nine out of ten of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

First, let’s know what non-communicable diseases are?

These are diseases that do not have a single cause, have long-term health consequences, and frequently necessitate long-term treatment and care. These conditions include cancer, Epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, Osteoarthritis, diabetes and many more.

Many of these diseases are curable or preventable by reducing common risk factors such as harmful alcohol consumption, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and eating unhealthy diets. Many other serious conditions, such as injuries and mental illnesses, are also classified as NCDs.

Noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and cancer are among the world’s top silent killers, but they can often be avoided by investing in proven, cost-effective interventions. According to the WHO report, the causes of rising NCDs are social, environmental, commercial, and genetic. However, cancer kills one in every six people, or 9.3 million families, each year.

What does the WHO’s Director General say?

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is the Director-General of WHO, urged global leaders to take immediate action against noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which cause 17 million premature deaths each year. “This report is a reminder of the true scale of the threat posed by NCDs and their risk factors,” said Dr Tedros. “There are cost-effective and globally applicable NCD interventions that every country, no matter its income level, can and should be using and benefitting from – saving lives and saving money. I thank President Afuko-Addo, Prime Minister Støre and Michael Bloomberg for their leadership and vision in addressing this major global health issue.” To expedite action, Dr Tedros renewed Michael R. Bloomberg’s two-year appointment as WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries.

The general public is unaware of the links between NCDs and their risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets, and a lack of physical activity. Nonetheless, the majority of people surveyed across all countries support a wide range of proven interventions and policies that can reduce NCD deaths, such as incorporating more green spaces into urban health design and raising tobacco taxes. Global efforts are urgently needed to reduce NCD-related premature deaths. Together mankind can triumph.

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