ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Dr Sania Nishtar will lead World Health Organisation’s high-level global commission on non-communicable diseases [NCDs], the organisation announced during the 64th session of WHO’s Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean in Islamabad on Tuesday.
“We urgently need new approaches and action on a dramatically different scale if we are to stop people dying unnecessarily from noncommunicable diseases,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “I am committed to engaging the very best people in the world to address our health challenges,”
“So, I am especially pleased that Dr Nishtar has agreed to lead this commission. I know she will bring impressive knowledge, credibility, and commitment to this effort,” Ghebreyesus added.
Sania Nishtar, previously co-chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, is a global advocate against NCDs.
The commission will identify ways to eradicate one of the leading causes of death in the world, and extend life expectancy for millions. “The commission will support ongoing political efforts to accelerate action on cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, as well as reducing suffering from mental health issues and the impacts of violence and injuries,” the statement said.
In its statement, WHO highlights that each year the disease kills approximately 40 million people globally – accounting for 70 per cent of all deaths. “Low- and middle-income countries are particularly affected by NCDs with more than 80% of all deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries. Violence and injuries take an overwhelming toll on young people, particularly boys.”
The health organisation and the President of Uruguay are co-hosting WHO Global Conference on No communicable Diseases in Montevideo later this month. While the third United Nations High-level meeting on NCDs is scheduled for 2018.