Sunday, September 25, 2011

News Brief: UN Meeting for Non-Communicable Diseases

Joshua Dower

This past week, the UN held a high level meeting to discuss NCD. This stands for Non-Communicable Diseases, which include heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses that cannot be transferred from one person to another. The entire world is waiting to hear about the outcomes of this meeting because NCD is currently not a focus of medical research and economic support. This group of diseases represents the number one killer in the world and the World Health Organization predicts the number of deaths caused by NCD in developing countries will increase over the next ten years. Although many predict that NCD will remain a problem in society even after the meeting, many organizations are happy to see that the creation of the NCD alliance will increase public awareness of the diseases. Organizations involved include Unicef and UN habitat, and they hope to model programs that fight NCD after similar programs developed to fight HIV/AIDS that came as a result of a similar meeting ten years ago.
To fully eradicate NCD, many different countries must commit to researching and educating about these diseases. There are already eleven global organizations devoted to this cause, but this is not enough to reach every affected group of people. In the current global economic environment and with the population growing, it will be incredibly difficult to change NCD’s wide impact. However, this important meeting will hopefully kick-start many global initiatives that will eventually lead to saving people’s lives.

References: Koehlmoos, Tracey Perez. "UN Meeting for Non-Communicable Diseases". British Medical Journal. Web. Sep 13 2011.

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