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Words on Wounds

A forum to discuss the latest news and ideas in skin and wound care.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Update on the UN Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 41 million deaths each year, or 71% of all deaths globally. Over 85% of "premature" deaths due to NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries. Of those, 15 million are individuals between the ages of 30 and 69 years. 

The number of people with diabetes has doubled over the past 20 years, making this condition one of the largest global health emergencies. According to International Diabetic Federation:

  • 1 out of every 11 adults worldwide has diabetes
  • Diabetes is ranked ninth on the global list of causes of death in 2010 
  • It associated with a 67% increased risk of disability 
  • It accounts for 54% of years lost due to illness, disability, or early death in low- and middle-income countries.

To address important concerns like these, the third high-level meeting on NCDs was held on September 27 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This meeting was recognized as the most important political meeting on diabetes and other NCDs of the last four years. The theme of the meeting was "Scaling up multi-stakeholder and multisectoral responses for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." The goal was to heighten focus on prevention to achieve a 0% increase in diabetes prevalence by 2025 and to achieve a 30% reduction in diabetes-related premature mortality by 2030. There is a recognized need to boost investment to ensure 80% access to essential medicines and devices by 2025 and Universal Health Coverage by 2030. Some of the suggestions to emerge from the meeting include:

  • Encouraging fiscal policies and other public health measures to promote healthier diets, especially among children;
  • Considering the use of cost-effective medication strategies, alongside lifestyle changes;
  • Establishing adequate education programs for healthcare professionals and people with diabetes about how to prevent, recognize, and treat diabetes to avoid serious complications that can ultimately lead to death;
  • Establishing an increased and stable government budget to improve or create reimbursement systems;
  • Improving multisectoral collaboration to regulate prices and to enhance the supply chain; and
  • Eliminating all types of discrimination against people with diabetes through the adoption of regulations that defend their rights as well as the development education campaigns aiming to eliminate misconceptions among the general population.