Stockholm (NordSIP) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) is holding a conference on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Copenhagen this week (April 9-11) to spur investment and awareness of the issue.
40 million people die annually from NDCs like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, leading the United Nations to earmark NDCs as a priority issue.
“The scale of the NCD crisis is immense, as is the need for accelerated and strengthened action across multiple sectors and stakeholders globally,” said Dr Svetlana Axelrod, WHO Assistant Director-General for NCDs and Mental Health. “Only by working together in new partnerships and investing the right levels of resources will we be able to protect people from NCDs and provide the care they need.”
The ‘NCD Global Dialogue’ in Copenhagen will be attended by delegates from WHO Member States, development agencies, UN agencies NGOs, philanthropists and business organisations with the objective of establishing innovative partnerships between public and private players, while focusing on the mobilisation of internal and external finance.
“Ultimately, it is governments’ responsibility to secure resources for health, but all stakeholders, including the private sector, can play a major role in moving the NCD agenda forward,” Dr Axelrod added.
NCDs, beyond leading to premature death, also hinder economic development, as such diseases often kill people at the height of their productivity. The burden of NCDs is rising disproportionately among lower-income countries, negatively impacting economic growth.
“Business as usual will not work any longer regarding the NCDs,” said Denmark Minister for Development Ulla Tørnæs. “The global burden and challenge of NCDs is of such a scale and magnitude that it requires thinking outside the box and new partnerships and financing mechanisms.”
“Partnerships hold the key to a healthier future and to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. We need to encourage innovative and bold partnerships between member states and non-state actors. We are looking forward to exploring and showcasing solutions through multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement and Denmark is happy to be leading this important discussion on how to close the financing gap,” Tørnæs said.
Tackling NCDs is a global priority enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4 of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030.
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