UNDP chief urges quick measures against non-communicable diseases

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Helen Clarke

The top official at the UN Development Programme –UNDP called on Monday for swift, firm measures to halt a global surge in diseases such as cancer and diabetes, saying they belong "permanently on the global development agenda."

Helen Clarke says "Failure to curb the growing epidemic of  non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now, will lead to a significant toll on human life and well-being, and great strain on health systems and family and public budgets".

Speaking at the launch of a new series on Non-communicable diseases –NCDs by Britain's medical journal The Lancet, Ms. Clarke says "By placing NCDs permanently on the global development agenda, people's lives, opportunities, and future prospects will improve—advancing sustainable human development overall", adding that the global response to HIV/AIDS suggests early intervention can decisively alter the trajectory of an epidemic.

She explains that "Just as health shapes development, development shapes health. Poor health impedes lifting human development, while the conditions in which people live and work impact health and well-being," noting that "Inequalities in health outcomes tend to mirror inequalities and inequities more broadly everywhere".

The Lancet argues that prevention and control of NCDs should be one of the forthcoming benchmarks, now widely under discussion, that will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aimed to eradicate global poverty and associated ailments by 2015.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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