The World Health Organization has published a new report asserting that the world’s governments must increase efforts to meet internationally agreed targets to reduce noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and NCD-related premature deaths.
The WHO Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2017 charts governments’ actions to set targets, implement policies to address the four main shared and modifiable NCD risk factors of harmful drinking, smoking, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity, and build capacities to reduce and treat NCDs.
The Progress Monitor provides data on 19 indicators, including measures to deter harmful drinking, and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus stated that “bolder political action is needed to address constraints in controlling NCDs, including the mobilisation of domestic and external resources and safeguarding communities from interference by powerful economic operators.”
The report indicates that progress around the world has been “uneven and insufficient.” key highlights of the 2017 edition include: 93 countries have set national targets to address NCDs, up from 59 in 2015; 94 countries have implemented operational multisectoral strategies to address NCDs, compared to 64 in 2015; 90 countries have developed guidelines for managing the four major NCDs, up from 50 in 2015; 100 countries have conducted physical activity awareness campaigns; Six countries have not achieved any of the progress indicators, compared to 14 in 2015. Five of the six countries are African; Costa Rica and Iran lead the 10 the best performing countries, with each achieving 15 of the 19 indicators, followed by Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey and the United Kingdom (each 13); Finland, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand (12).No country from the WHO Africa region achieved more than eight of the progress indicators.