World Health Oganization
Global action plan for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2012 - 2020
(NCDs)—mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes—are the world's biggest killers. More than 36 million people die annually from NCDs (63% of global deaths), including more than 14 million people who die too young between the ages of 30 and 70.
Low- and middle-income countries already bear 86% of the burden of these premature deaths, resulting in cumulative economic losses of US$7 trillion over the next 15 years and millions of people trapped in poverty.
Most of these premature deaths from NCDs are largely preventable by enabling health systems to respond
more effectively and equitably to the health-care needs of people with NCDs, and influencing public policies in sectors outside health that tackle shared risk factors—namely tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol.
NCDs are now well-studied and understood, and this gives all Member States an immediate advantage to take action. The Moscow Declaration on NCDs, endorsed by Ministers of Health in May 2011, and the UN Political Declaration on NCDs, endorsed by Heads of State and Government in September 2011, recognized the vast body of knowledge and experience regarding the preventability of NCDs and immense opportunities for global action to control them. Therefore, Heads of State and Government committed themselves in the UN Political Declaration on NCDs to establish and strengthen, by 2013, multisectoral national policies and plans for the prevention and control of NCDs, and consider the development of national targets and indicators based on national situations.
To realize these commitments, the World Health Assembly endorsed the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 in May 2013. The Global Action Plan provides Member States,
international partners and WHO with a road map and menu of policy options which, when implemented collectively between 2013 and 2020, will contribute to progress on 9 global NCD targets to be attained in 2025, including a 25% relative reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025. Appendix 3 of the
Global Action Plan is a gold mine of current scientific knowledge and available evidence based on a review of international experience.
WHO's global monitoring framework on NCDs will start tracking implementation of the Global Action Plan through monitoring and reporting on the attainment of the 9 global targets for NCDs, by 2015, against a baseline in 2010. Accordingly, governments are urged to (i) set national NCD targets for 2025 based on national circumstances; (ii) develop multisectoral national NCD plans to reduce exposure to risk factors and enable health systems to respond in order to reach these national targets in 2025; and (iii) measure results, taking into account the Global Action Plan.
WHO and other UN Organizations will support national efforts with upstream policy advice and sophisticated technical assistance, ranging from helping governments to set national targets to implement even relatively simple steps which can make a huge difference, such as raising tobacco taxes, reducing the amount of salt in foods and improving access to inexpensive drugs to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
As the United Nations gears up to support national efforts to address NCDs, it is also time to spread a broader awareness that NCDs constitute one of the major challenges for development in the 21st century— and of the new opportunities of making global progress in the post-2015 development agenda.
We are looking forward to working with countries to save lives, improve the health and wellbeing of present and future generations and ensure that the human, social and financial burden of NCDs does not undermine the development gains of past years.
Dr Oleg Chestnov
Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health
Strengthening of palliative care as a component of integrated treatment throughout the life course Report by the Secretariat
1. This report describes the current status globally of palliative care and measures that are crucial to its development with a public health approach.
DEFINITION, NEEDS AND BENEFITS
2. WHO defines palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and correct assessment and treatment of pain, and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.1 Palliative care also respects the choice of patients, and helps their families to deal with practical issues, including coping with loss and grief throughout the illness and in case of bereavement.
3. With respect to palliative care and the right to health, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in its General Comment 14, noted that "States are under the obligation to respect the right to health by ... refraining from denying or limiting equal access for all persons ... to preventive, curative and palliative health services."2 The right to health is recognized as a fundamental human right by WHO's Constitution and several international human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
4. WHO estimates that, worldwide, some 20 million people need end-of-life palliative-care services each year,3 and just as many people are believed to need palliative care in the year before death, giving an annual total of about 40 million people. It is estimated that of the 20 million people needing palliative care at the end of their life, around 80% live in low- and middle-income countries; some 67% are elderly (more than 60 years of age), whereas about 6% are children.
ehospice is the first globally managed news and information website and app on hospice, palliative and end of life care, bringing you the latest news, intelligence, commentary and analysis from the sector. At the touch of a button, you can access the expertise and experience of the global palliative care community.
Aimed at anyone with a professional or personal interest in palliative care, ehospice gives access to news, current research findings, coverage of major meetings and conferences, policy developments, updates from organisations within the palliative care field, job and event listings and a global directory of service providers. There are also inspirational elements, with rich photo galleries, personal stories and a 'be inspired' feature.
There are several country/region editions and separate international editions for adult and children's care.