Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

Government leaders at a WHO global conference in Uruguay have agreed to prioritize action to reduce premature mortality from NCDs.

In the Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority, they reaffirm their commitment to SDG target 3.4, which aims to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

The Montevideo Roadmap outlines actions toward this target, including through investing in national health systems, financing national NCD responses, and addressing poverty, livelihoods, shelter, diet and lifestyle issues.

20 October 2017: Government leaders at a global health conference in Uruguay agreed to prioritize action to reduce premature mortality from non-commuicable diseases (NCDs). The adopted roadmap outlines actions toward this goal, including investing in national health systems, financing national NCD responses, and addressing poverty, livelihoods, shelter, diet and lifestyle issues.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Non-communicable Diseases took place from 18-20 October 2017, in Montevideo, on the theme, ‘Pursuing Policy Coherence to Achieve SDG target 3.4 on NCDs.’ NCDs include heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes. Target 3.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights the need to combat NCDs through prevention, treatment, and mental health and wellbeing, and calls to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by one-third.

WHO reports that NCDs are the leading cause of death worldwide, killing 40 million people a year and accounting for premature deaths in the 30 to 70 age group. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that NCDs affect the poor disproportionately, as they can least afford healthcare. WHO has established a high-level commission on NCDs to accelerate efforts in this area.

In the Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority, countries reaffirm their commitment to SDG target 3.4, and outline a range of actions that will be needed to combat NCDs, including: emphasizing health as a political priority; enabling health systems to respond more effectively to NCDs; increasing the financing of national NCD responses and international cooperation; engaging with non-health sectors; reinforcing the role of non-state actors; promoting healthy diets and lifestyle; and acting in unity. The Roadmap encourages exploring the impact of economic, market and commercial factors on the prevention and control of NCDs, noting that diet and lifestyle aspects such as tobacco use, unhealthy food and the harmful use of alcohol are all factors in the spread of NCDs.

The Roadmap draws attention to the influence of NCDs in perpetuating poverty, noting that for the poor, chronic illness and disability can be “an economic catastrophe.” It also notes the “double burden” for women, who often assume gender-based roles as unpaid caregivers for the sick.

The Montevideo Roadmap was adopted in preparation for the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) third High-Level Meeting on NCDs, convening in 2018 to assess progress in reducing premature NCD deaths. [UN Press Release] [Montevideo Roadmap] [Montevideo Conference Webpage][SDG Knowledge Hub: WHO Establishes Commission on NCDs]

related posts