Statement made on May 25th 2015 during the 68th World Health Assembly on Item 13.4: Follow-up to the 2014 high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of the progress achieved in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
The IFMSA recognizes the need to tackle, prevent and control the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and reduce the worldwide morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, as well as reduce the four shared risk factors.
Global trends indicate that NCD-related behaviors are on the rise among young people, and that they establish patterns of behavior that persist throughout life and are often hard to change. We strongly recommend that interventions aimed at reducing the burden of NCDs must include addressing risk factors during childhood and adolescence.
It is essential that the focus on NCDs should be a supplementation, rather than competitor, to communicable diseases mitigation efforts. We urge member states for more horizontal primary care approaches, aiming the strengthening of primary health services, where prevention and treatment of NCDs should be a substantial part. Furthermore, NCDs should be integrated into health-in-all policies as part of a ‘whole-of-government’ approach with intersectoral planning and programming.
Finally, IFMSA commends the efforts of WHO in the implementation of the Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs aiming, to promote an important dialogue to facilitate and enhance the coordination of activities, multi-stakeholder engagement and action across sectors in line with Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020. However, we urge WHO and member states to give more priority to policy coherence across sectors with special attention to trade and investment and improve their engagements in the dialogues proposed by the mechanism.
We recommend governments to ensure that the voices of young people are heard and that promoting increased youth involvement in the global NCDs movement by advocating for youth-oriented NCDs awareness programs in the local, regional and global level.