With non-communicable diseases (NCD) claiming around three quarters of all lives lost each year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory illnesses would account for 86 per cent of deaths each year by 2050. This would be a staggering 90 per cent increase in absolute numbers, since 2019.
The WHO revealed this in its latest World Health Statistics check-up covering data up to 2022. WHO chief TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesussaid that the Statistics “sends a stark message on the threat of NCDs, which take an immense and increasing toll on lives, livelihoods, health systems, communities, economies and societies.
The report calls for a substantial increase in investments in health and health systems “to get back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, the Director-General added.
Prevention and control of these diseases are a major development imperative for the 21st century
THREAT TO FUTURE GENERATIONS
The statistics points out that four major NCDs collectively killed about 33.3 million people in 2019, a 28% increase compared to 2000. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 17.9 million, cancer 9.3 million, chronic respiratory disease 4.1 million and diabetes reported 2.0 million deaths.
Overall, the report underscores “a stagnation of health progress on key health indicators in recent years” compared with trends seen during 2000-2015, said WHO. It also warns of the growing threat posed by climate change and calls for a more coordinated and robust response from countries worldwide to deal with the rising health challenges.
Men have a higher probability of premature death from NCD than women in all WHO regions and globally, the statistics points out.