Continued Efforts Towards a 25 by 25 NCD Goal
Over the last few months, the ACC has participated in United Nations’ (UN) hearings on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The first hearing – which John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC attended – addressed a ’Zero Draft’ Outcomes Document that the World Health Organization (WHO) released. The report provided a benchmark of the progress to date since the UN Summit on NCDs in 2011. It noted that the progress of reaching a 25 percent global reduction of premature deaths from NCDs by the year 2025 (25 by 25), “has been insufficient and highly uneven, [and] continued efforts are essential for achieving a world free of the avoidable burden of NCDs.”
In response to the WHO document, the NCD Alliance, of which the ACC is a member, released a statement with analysis and recommendations in order to set priorities for future actions on NCDs and in order to strengthen the document to facilitate activities that are resourced, robust and measurable.
Last week, Dr. Harold and I attended another set of hearings that continued these discussions. I am optimistic that priorities will soon be set; no issue is greater in regards to NCDs than the current under-resourcing of the global efforts. For years we have been referencing 2008 data that showed that while NCDs contribute to over 60 percent of mortality worldwide, they receive only 3 percent of development assistance for health. Recent reports from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show that this percentage has in fact decreased to 1.3 percent despite the rising recognition of NCDs politically. Obviously, this is a trend that must be reversed if we are to meet the 25 by 25 goals. The Outcomes Document must address this issue head on with strong language regarding the inclusion of NCDs in the post-2015 development agenda with a specific reference to a dedicated NCD target or targets.
In addition, the Outcomes Document represents a crucial opportunity to drive national action as the most urgent need in the global NCD movement. Just as the College leverages its 32 International Chapters to drive country level activities to improve treatment for and raise awareness of heart disease, we must be working together to identify successful strategies at the national level and holding countries to account for implementing programs to successfully prevent and treat NCDs.
Finally, we won’t be able to do this without strong monitoring mechanisms. For example, our NCDR program monitors over 25 million patient records to understand the ongoing longitudinal treatment of cardiovascular disease. We are proud to have expanded this registry to the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East regions over the last few years. This has driven novel insights into variances in global cardiovascular care. It has spurred research on best practices across countries and brought together investigators to create science. We must be implementing similar measures to monitor the global NCD burden.
Our involvement in the UN hearings is a great opportunity to live the College’s mission. Plus, our continued work with the NCD Alliance appropriately fits with the ACC’s strategic efforts to improve population health around the globe. With 50,000 global members and 32 International Chapters, the ACC stands commitment to a future where a goal of 25 by 25 is a reality. Look for an invited commentary in The Lancet from ACC presidents in coming weeks that further emphasizes our commitment to these efforts.
For more information about the ACC’s International activities, visit CardioSource.org/International.
View a video of Dr. Harold presenting remarks at an UN hearing here: https://cloud.real.com/s/6h3BrR?lang=en#
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