On April 12, Heads of State, Ministers of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) representatives attended an inaugural meeting in Accra, Ghana to launch a Global Compact to tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and meet the UN’s Social Development Goals (SDGs).
Convened by the governments of Norway, Ghana, and the WHO, the International Strategic Dialogue on NCDs and SDGs highlighted the urgency of what the WHO calls the NCD pandemic, which kills 7 out of 10 people globally from risk factors like tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution.
The historic event concluded with the announcement of a Presidential Council on NCDs, a platform for exchange, collaboration and action on NCDs that aims to raise global awareness of the need for all governments to address the issue.
“We welcome the announcement of the Global Compact on NCDs and a new Presidential Council to address the growing global burden of cancer and other NCDs. The leadership provided by this Council will be instrumental in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs, and in particular SDG Target 3.4.” said C/Can CEO Dr Susan Henshall.
The NCD Compact announced at the International Strategic Dialogue on NCDs and SDGs a focus on five key areas between now and 2030:
- saving the lives of 50 million people from dying prematurely of NCDs by implementing the most cost-effective measures to prevent and control NCDs
- protecting 1.7 billion people living with NCDs by providing access to the medicines and care they need during humanitarian emergencies
- integrating NCDs within primary health care and universal health coverage
- comprehensive NCD surveillance and monitoring
- meaningfully engaging 1.7 billion people living with NCDs and mental health conditions in policy-making and programming.
The President of Ghana will Chair the first meeting of the Presidential Council on NCDs, which will take place in September during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
C/Can has been working with local stakeholders in Ghana since 2018, supporting efforts in the city of Kumasi to improve access to cancer diagnostics and treatment, and was proud to be a participant in the meeting in Accra on April 12.