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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 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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WHO Calls for Better Vaccination Coverage Against Increasing Number of Measles Cases

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe

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Steve Sierzega receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019. VOA

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first three months of the year compared to last year, the World Health Organization reported Monday.

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe in the January-to-March period. WHO called for better vaccination coverage against measles, which can kill or leave a child disabled for life.

Over recent months, WHO said spikes in the disease have occurred “in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States … as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people.”

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Public health authorities worry about outbreaks in communities where vaccination rates are low, fueled by a growing movement of people who view the MMR vaccine, mumps and rubella as dangerous. VOA

“While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend,” WHO said. “Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases.”

The agency said the reported number of cases often lags behind the number of actual cases, meaning that the number of documented cases likely does not reflect the actual severity of the measles outbreaks.

For three weeks in a row, U.S. health authorities have added dozens of new reports of measles to its yearly total, now at 555, the biggest figure in five years. Twenty of the 50 U.S. states have now reported measles cases.

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FILE – 15-month-old August Goepferd received mumps and rubella booster shot at a clinic at Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis. VOA

ALSO READ: New York Takes Drastic Steps to Prevent Spread of Measles Outbreak

More than half of the U.S. total — 285 cases — have been reported in New York City. Officials in the country’s largest city last week ordered mandatory measles vaccinations to halt the outbreak that has been concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city’s Brooklyn borough.

City health department officials blamed anti-vaccine propagandists for distributing misinformation in the community. (VOA)