Chronic diseases taking ‘immense and increasing toll on lives’, warns WHO
(United Nations News) A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, are claiming around three quarters of all lives lost each year.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the latest World Health Statistics check-up – covering data up to 2022 – “sends a stark message on the threat of noncommunicable diseases, 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.
Threat to future generations
Despite overall health progress, WHO said that the increasing toll of NCDs meant that if the trend were to continue, by around 2050, chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory illnesses – will account for 86 per cent of the 90 million deaths each year: a staggering 90 per cent increase in absolute numbers, since 2019.
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.
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