News / Health

WHO Urges Governments to Adopt Low Cost Strategies to Killer Diseases

Vidushi Sinha

In a new report released on the sidelines of a high-level U.N. meeting on noncommunicable diseases in New York, the World Health Organization outlines low-cost strategies to combat chronic diseases that are expensive to treat and bring severe economic consequences.

The World Health Organization says it does not need to cost a lot of money to save millions of people from a wide range of noncommunicable ailments - cancer, diabetes and heart and respiratory disease. As little as a dollar a year per person in low income countries, and a $1.50 in middle income countries.

Current treatments of chronic diseases are expensive and push millions of people into poverty each year.

“We have cost effective interventions that can make a huge difference in reducing the burden if they are implemented by the member states and most of these are actually low cost interventions. They are affordable by all countries irrespective of income and economic status,” said Ala Alwan, an assistant director general with WHO.  

The World Economic Forum estimates that over the next 15 years, noncommunicable diseases, or NCDs. will cost low and middle income countries more than $7 trillion.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan urged leaders gathered at the United Nations to act quickly and decisively. “Rising financial and economic cost of these diseases will reach levels that are beyond the coping capacity of wealthiest nations of the world. Excellencies, you have the power to stop or reverse the NCDs disaster,” she said.

Several types of common behavior are well known to increase the risk of chronic diseases - tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use.

WHO simply recommends changing such habits with what it calls 'population-based and individual-based best buy interventions,'

“If you increase taxation on tobacco and alcohol you will generate funds. You will not only reduce consumption and prevent noncommunicable diseases but you will be able to generate additional funds even in low income countries. And that you can use to expand coverage at primary health care level to provide better health care or to strengthen your health promotion programs,” Alwan said.

Donald Shriber at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sees the United States taking a somewhat different role in tackling NCDs than it did in dealing with communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

“I think the U.S. goverment can work with them in partnership rather than a donor or donee relationship and make enormous strides," Shriber said.

WHO officials say government actions can have substantial influence on public health, and to reduce NCD risk factors, governments should quickly adopt and implement its recommended interventions.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid