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What is the News?
The World Health Organization(WHO) has released a report titled “Saving lives, spending less: the case for investing in non-communicable diseases”.
What are the key findings of the report?
Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and stroke kill 41 million people annually and damage the health of millions more.
85% of all premature deaths caused by NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries.
These conditions often strike when people are in their most productive years, with more than 15 million people dying prematurely between the ages of 30 and 69 each year.
The major risk factors that contribute to these diseases are tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.
In addition to ending lives prematurely, NCDs cause lasting social and economic harm to individuals, their families, communities and countries.
What can be done then?
In 2017, the World Health Assembly endorsed a package of 16 affordable, cost-effective and evidence-based NCD interventions. These are known as the NCD Best Buys.
They focus on addressing the major NCD risk factors – tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, unhealthy diets and inadequate physical activity – and management of priority disease areas – cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cervical cancer.
Investing just $0.84 per person per year in NCD Best Buys interventions could save close to seven million lives, avoid 10 million cases of heart disease, stroke and add a total of 50 million years of healthy life by 2030 in low and lower-middle-income countries.
Source: This post is based on the article “Less than $1: How WHO thinks that can save 7 million lives” published in Down To Earth on 14th Dec 2021.