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Sultanate to host global meeting on NCDs

2 Dec 2019

Muscat – Oman will host the WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) from December 9-12, This was revealed at a press conference held on Sunday at the Ministry of Health (MoH) premises. 

It was addressed by H E Dr Ali bin Talib al Hinai, Undersecretary for Health and Planning in MoH, and Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO representative to the sultanate. At the meeting, one of the important areas that will be deliberated upon will be ‘What are the Best buys’. ‘Best buys’ are a cluster of highly cost-effective interventions strategised by WHO to combat non-communicable diseases. 

“At this meeting, we will discuss the ‘Best buys’ too. NCDs primarily cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancer and diabetes kill more people than any other cause, equivalent to 70 per cent of all deaths globally, including 15mn people prematurely aged between 30 and 70 years (nearly half of which occur in low and lower income countries).  

“But many premature deaths can be avoided when action is taken to reduce exposure to the main risks causing them (tobacco, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity) and promote effective treatment, including through universal health coverage,” said Dr Akjemal. 

She said that representatives of more than 100 countries will participate in the conference. “This meeting will focus on how governments can implement the WHO-endorsed low-cost ‘Best buys’ solutions that can reduce premature deaths on a dramatic scale so tens and millions of lives can be saved. 

“Through these measures we can save 8mn lives in low and lower middle income countries by 2030 and generate US$350bn in economic growth. Examples of these solutions range from marketing bans and taxation to reduce exposure to tobacco an unhealthy foods and drinks, to provide access to essential health services to all people to protect them from these conditions.” 

The event is also expected to release a call for action which will contribute to the implementation of the 2018 UN Political Declaration on NCDs and 2019 UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage whilst supporting countries to reach the 2030 development goals.  The conference will have plenary and panel discussions, while numerous new initiatives to prevent and control NCDs will be launched. 

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