Muscat, Dec 9 – Lifestyle diseases account for 70 per cent of the deaths worldwide threatening social and economic development. Seven of ten people in the world die of either cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes or mental disorders. This was revealed in World Health Organization’s Global Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health in Muscat on Monday. The conference is attended by 600 delegates from around the world, including ministers and experts. WHO pointed out that NCDs are responsible for the premature death of up to 15 million people aged between 30 and 70 years.
WHO, which has entered into a partnership with Oman, the host for its Global Meeting in Muscat, seeks to accelerate progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 3.4 on NCDs and Mental Health. WHO said that despite many proven interventions and commitments to combat NCDs, the pace of progress has been slow and uneven. “Low-cost solutions approved by the organisation can save millions of lives and achieve economic growth.” To reduce exposure to tobacco and unhealthy foods and drinks, WHO solutions include banning the marketing and imposing taxes on these products, apart from providing access to basic health services for all groups of society.
According to WHO, “Children don’t consume food because it’s good. They consume because of advertising. Sugar is the biggest poison of the 21st Century.” The WHO meeting includes interaction with directors of the NCD programmes from participating countries where cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, cancers, and diabetes are a cause for a large number of premature deaths. The objectives of the Global Meeting are to strengthen the capacity of national NCD directors and managers to implement a set of priority interventions that will put their countries on a sustainable path to attain SDG target 3.4 on NCDs and mental health by 2030. “We can save eight 8 million 2030 globally by adopting WHO guidelines on tackling NCDs” said Akjemal Magtymova, WHO representative in Oman, in her speech.