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Health leaders pledge action to reduce deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 7/10/2013 10:53

Washington, D.C., 4 October 2013 (PAHO/WHO) -- Health authorities from the Americas agreed on a joint plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to noncommuncable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025.

The action plan was approved by the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which is meeting this week in Washington, D.C. It calls for multisectoral policies and partnerships to promote prevention and control of NCDs and reduce their risk factors, along with efforts to improve patient care, enhance surveillance, and expand research on NCDs.

In the Americas, noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease are responsible for three out of four deaths, claiming some 4.45 million lives every year. More than a third (34%) of these deaths are considered premature because they occur in people ages 30 to 69. The burden of these diseases is inequitably shared, with 30% of cardiovascular premature deaths occurring in the poorest 20% of the population, while only 13% are among the wealthiest 20%.

The leading NCDs—cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease—are related to a common set of risk factors, principally tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol.

Under the joint plan of action, health authorities from PAHO member countries committed to a series of goals and actions to advance them, including:

·         Promoting prevention of NCDs through multisectoral action involving sectors beyond health, including agriculture, trade, education, labor, finance, the environment, transport, and urban development.

·         Expanding social protection in health to provide universal access to health services for NCDs.

·         Reducing tobacco consumption and exposure to secondhand smoke by 30% by the year 2025.

·         Promoting healthy diets through policies that reduce the impact on children of marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.

·         Promoting active lifestyles through policies that reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents.

·         Increase access to and rational use of essential medicines and technologies for detecting, diagnosing, treating and controlling NCDs and for rehabilitation and palliative care for NCD patients.

·         Improving surveillance of NCDs and their risk factors and strengthen research to improve interventions and evaluation of policies and programs.

PAHO member countries pledged to give priority to NCDs in their health and development agendas, to implement the necessary policies and programs to achieve the plan’s goals. They also pledged to promote dialogue and coordination with other sectors and institutions with a view to ensuring integrated implementation of interventions.

The plan calls on PAHO to provide technical cooperation to the countries to help strengthen their capacity to adopt voluntary targets and indicators to monitor progress in reducing NCDs. It also calls on PAHO to lead a regional response to NCDs by convening Member States, other United Nations agencies, scientific and technical institutions, nongovernmental organizations, organized civil society and the private sector to promote multisectoral action and partnerships while preventing conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

The plan of action provides concrete tools for advancing the 2012 NCD strategy approved by the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference. It is also aligned with WHO’s global NCD action plan while also taking into account regional priorities.

PAHO is the world’s oldest international public health organization. It works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. 


CD52/7, Rev. 1 —  Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 




Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Organization