GHANA – The inaugural International Strategic Dialogue on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held in Accra, Ghana has launched the Global NCD Compact 2020-2030.

The NCD Compact will focus on saving the lives of 50 million people from dying prematurely of NCDs by 2030 by implementing the most cost-effective measures to prevent and control the chronic diseases.

The agenda also emphasizes protecting 1.7 billion people living with NCDs by ensuring that they have access to the medicines and care they need during humanitarian emergencies.

Additionally, it will focus on integrating NCDs within primary health care and universal health coverage along with comprehensive NCD surveillance and monitoring.

The Global Compact will purposefully engage 1.7 billion people living with NCDs and mental health conditions in policy-making and programming.

The summit was co-hosted by the Governments of Ghana together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of Norway to discuss NCD prevention as well as access to treatment and medicine.

High-level heads of state and health leaders at the summit discussed economic and health benefits of investing in noncommunicable diseases like investing in stronger health systems, service delivery and the prevention of NCDs.

For instance, Ghanian President Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo outlined the successes of Ghana in implementing tobacco demand-reduction measures and introducing guidelines for NCD management

Norway has also been a frontrunner in investment in the fight against NCDs, investing internationally becoming the first donor country to include NCDs in its international development strategy.

Investments in health will make vulnerable populations more resilient to COVID-19 and future pandemics as well as promote universal health coverage.

Consequently, the first Global Heads of State and Government Group on NCDs was established to accelerate progress towards the SDG target for noncommunicable diseases.

The SDG target aims for a one-third reduction in premature deaths from diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart and lung disease along with the promotion of mental health and well-being.

The Heads of States and Governments Group will gather countries championing the NCD agenda and will convene annually at the UN General Assembly with the first meeting expected to take place in September 2022.

The Heads of State further highlighted the urgency of the NCD pandemic which kills 7 out of 10 people globally from risk factors such as harmful use of alcohol and tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, raised blood pressure to name a few.

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