By Chioma Obinna
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed the new strategy adopted by the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases – mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes- which kill nearly 35 million people each year, including almost 9 million before the age of 60.
The resolution seeks to halt the increasing trends in premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases worldwide.
According to WHO Assistant Director -General Dr Ala Alwan, it has become urgent to tackle the problem pose by these diseases.
â€œThere is a sense of urgency. It will help us increase action to address the leading cause of death in the world. Tackling these diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the twenty-first centuryâ€
Alwan noted that efforts will be undertaken to provide support to countries in enhancing access to essential medicines and affordable medical technology to combat noncommunicable diseases.
The resolution also calls on member states including NigeriaÂ and the international community to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in September 2011, with the participation of Heads of State and Government, on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
The High-level plenary meeting September will alsoÂ to review the Millennium Development Goals discussions on the rising incidence and the socio-economic impact of noncommunicable diseases in developing countries like Nigeria.
These diseases are the leading cause of death for women in middle and high-income countries and the second leading cause of death for women in low-income countries.