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NonCommunicable Diseases Causing Millions of Deaths Each Year

NonCommunicable diseases are causing millions of deaths each year, but there are low cost options which could reduce this and the costs of providing health care for those sick with these diseases, according to WHO.

NonCommunicable diseases are causing millions of deaths each year, but there are low cost options which could reduce this and the costs of providing health care for those sick with these diseases, according to WHO.

The World Health Organization, WHO, has released a new report which offers guidelines for addressing the economic impact which noncommunicable diseases, NCDs, have and suggests low cost methods for reducing the incidence of NCDs. It is released just before the first meeting of the United Nations to discuss chronic or non-communicable diseases, a two day meeting in New York, beginning Monday 19th September.

The report, a joint project by the World Economic Forum, WEF, and the Harvard School of Public Health, focuses on four diseases, namely cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, and the impact they have on the global economy, as well as inexpensive options to combat these diseases which are threatening to bankrupt health systems throughout the world.

With the current population growths and the rates of incidence of these NCDs, the WHO has estimated there could be economic losses to the low and middle income countries of over $7 trillion dollars by 2025. However, the report points out that some simple strategies, like making the public more aware of diet issues and the need for exercise, could have a big impact on the funds needed to deal with these diseases. The report also suggests individual risk assessments for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, with drug therapy if needed, screening for cervical cancer, and vaccination against hepatitis B which is a leading cause of liver cancer.

The measures suggested are considered cost effective – defined as not exceeding $0.50 per person per year, and the implementation of some programs like this have already reduced the cardiovascular disease problems in about 38 countries, so the report states.

The WHO is predicting that by 2030 the number of annual deaths from NCDs could reach 52 million because of the rapid acceleration of these diseases, and health care costs for dealing with these health issues will increase dramatically too.

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