Tuesday 30 May 2017 - Geneva, Switzerland: Today the 70th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing an updated list of evidence-based and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
During the discussion dozens of Member States and civil society organizations spoke strongly in favour of the endorsement. These interventions are intended to support countries to achieve the nine voluntary global targets on NCDs, and, in doing so, vastly improve the health and well-being of people worldwide.
The list of interventions, initially featured as Appendix 3 of the WHO Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020, was revised based on new data and evidence using WHO-CHOICE, a WHO programme that helps countries decide priorities for action based on considerations of impact and cost-effectiveness.
From a total of 88 proposed interventions, the updated Appendix 3 contains 16 interventions which are considered the most cost-effective and feasible for implementation. Among them are enacting and enforcing comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising; increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages; reducing salt intake through the reformulation of food products; and - on the disease management side - offering drug therapy and counselling to those who have had a heart attack or stroke; vaccinating girls aged 9-13 years against human papillomavirus; and screening women aged 30-49 years for cervical cancer.
Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department for the Management of NCDs, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention said, "The endorsement of this list of cost-effective interventions is a major break-through for public health. This list offers governments excellent options of priority actions that will have the greatest likelihood to halt the rise in NCDs, improve health and save lives."
As countries prepare for the next High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2018, the list of interventions will help them to plan and show progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030.
[Issued by the World Health Organization, 30 May 2017]
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