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Friday, April 29, 2011

THE RISE OF NONCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES POSE CHALLENGES



 Despite the the dire forecast and present statistics the answers are not popular socially nor politically.  People do not like anyone, especially governments, telling them how to live their lives even if those lives very likely will be shortened lives because they won't change the habits that are harming them.
WHO reports:
"The rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases presents an enormous challenge," says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, who launched the report during the WHO Global Forum on addressing the challenge of noncommunicable diseases, being held today in Moscow, the Russian Federation. "For some countries, it is no exaggeration to describe the situation as an impending disaster; a disaster for health, for society, and most of all for national economies."

Dr Chan adds: "Chronic noncommunicable diseases deliver a two-punch blow to development. They cause billions of dollars in losses of national income, and they push millions of people below the poverty line, each and every year."

But millions of deaths can be prevented by stronger implementation of measures that exist today. These include policies that promote government-wide action against NCDs: stronger anti-tobacco controls and promoting healthier diets, physical activity, and reducing harmful use of alcohol; along with improving people's access to essential health care.
The Global status report on NCDs provides global, regional and country-specific statistics, evidence, and experiences needed to launch a more forceful response to the growing threat posed by chronic noncommunicable diseases. It provides a baseline to chart future NCD trends and responses in countries, including in terms of its socioeconomic impacts. The report provides advice and recommendations for all countries and pays special attention to conditions in low- and middle-income countries which are hardest hit by NCDs.
Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17 million people annually, followed by cancer (7.6 million), respiratory disease (4.2 million), and diabetes (1.3 million). These four groups of diseases account for around 80% of all NCD deaths, and share four common risk factors:

- tobacco use
- physical inactivity
- the harmful use of alcohol and
- poor diets.

Not just a problem of affluent societies

"About 30% of people dying from NCDs in low- and middle-income countries are aged under 60 years and are in their most productive period of life. These premature deaths are all the more tragic because they are largely preventable," says Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. "This is a great loss, not just at an individual level, but also profoundly affect the family and a country's workforce. For the millions struggling with poverty, a vicious circle ensues. Poverty contributes to NCDs and NCDs contribute to poverty. Unless the epidemic of NCDs is aggressively confronted, the global goal of reducing poverty will be difficult to achieve."

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