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WHO says Millions of People are Dying Pre-mature Deaths Due to Non-Communicable Diseases

According to WHO report, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes, are the world's biggest killers that claim the lives of 15 million people anually

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WHO
WHO Director General Tedros stresses the need for bolder action to fight non-communicable diseases,VOA

Geneva, September 19, 2017 : The World Health Organization (WHO) urged governments worldwide to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with “bolder political actions” to save millions of people from premature deaths.

“Bolder political action is needed to address constraints in controlling NCDs, including the mobilization of domestic and external resources and safeguarding communities from interference by powerful economic operators,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

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According to the latest WHO report Non-communicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2017, the NCDs, primarily cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes, are the world’s biggest killers that claim the lives of 15 million people aged 30 to 70 annually, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, the report finds that progress around the world has been uneven and insufficient in addressing the four main shared NCD risk factors, tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.

The report provides data on 19 indicators in all of WHO’s members, such as setting time-bound targets to reduce NCD deaths; developing government policies to address NCDs; and strengthening health systems through primary health care and universal health coverage.

Costa Rica and Iran lead the 10 best performing countries, each achieving 15 of the 19 indicators, followed by Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey and Britain, each achieving 13 indicators, and Finland, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, each achieving 12.

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“The world is not on track to meet the target set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals of a one-third reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030,” concludes Douglas Bettcher, WHO Director for the prevention of NCDs.

“The window of opportunity to save lives is closing,” he adds. “If we don’t take action now to protect people from NCDs, we will condemn today’s and tomorrow’s youth to lives of ill-health and reduced economic opportunities.” (IANS)

 

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Road Traffic Accidents Cause 1.35 Mn Deaths Each Year: WHO

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

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Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic
Two bikes were involved in an accident with a bus that crashed and turned on its roof near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, March 7, 2015. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent action to put a brake on road traffic crashes that kill 1.35 million people every year, mostly in poor developing countries.

In Geneva, the U.N. agency launched its global status report on road safety 2018.

The report found road traffic injuries to be the leading killer of children and young people aged five to 29 years, with a death occurring every 24 seconds. The report said more than half of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders and passengers.

Etienne Krug, head of the U.N. Agency’s Department on Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, called these deaths a huge inequality issue.

Traffic Signals, Road Traffic
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia

“Low-income countries have one percent of the vehicles in the world and 13 percent of all the deaths; while high-income countries have 40 percent of all the vehicles,” Krug said. “So, that is 40 times more, but only seven percent of the deaths.That is half of the deaths with 40 times more vehicles.”

The report said death rates are highest in Africa and lowest in Europe. Some of the key risk factors include speeding, drinking and driving, and failure to use seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.

Krug said putting the right measures in place will save lives. These include the right legislation and enforcement, creating special lanes for cyclists and improving the quality of vehicles.

Road accidents in India
Road accidents in India. Pixabay

“It is not acceptable that vehicles are being sold in developing countries that look the same as the vehicles that we see here in Switzerland or the U.S. or anywhere else, but that are not,” Krug told VOA. “Because to make them cheaper, they have been stripped of all of their safety features, such as air bags or electronic stability control, etc.”

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

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However, it said no such progress has been made in low-income countries where safety measures are lacking. (VOA)