Non-communicable diseases threaten southeast Asian economies: WHOFebruary 28th, 2011 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases cause three out of five deaths in southeast Asia, posing a serious public health threat and impeding development in the region, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Monday. “Non-communicable diseases pose a threat to the global economy and are impoverishing to both families and individuals,” said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia.
“These diseases are the major cause of poverty at the individual and household level,” said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia.
According to WHO, more than 22 percent of deaths worldwide due to non-communicable diseases occur in the 11 countries in WHO’s South-East Asia Region.
A third of these deaths are expected to be among middle-aged adults under the age of 60 years.
“Costly in terms of long-term care, they demand a type of social and financial investment that many countries will have difficulty making unless they quickly begin to re-prioritise their efforts and funding,” he added.
This epidemic of non-communicable diseases can be largely prevented through cost-effective public health measures.
WHO called for an urgent action to reverse the threat posed by non-communicable diseases.
“Raising the priority of non-communicable diseases in health and development plans has been one of the key priorities of WHO. Since these diseases are closely linked to poverty, they pose a serious public health threat to the region and also impede development,” he said.
“For instance in India, eliminating non-communicable diseases would increase the (gross domestic product) GDP by 4-10 percent according to the World Bank,” he added.
The UN General Assembly will convene a high-level meeting in September 2011 to galvanize action to halt premature deaths from non-communicable diseases.
WHO is organising a regional consultation for member states March 1-4 in Jakarta, Indonesia to prepare for the General Assembly meeting.
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Tags: asian economies, cardiovascular diseases, cause of poverty, chronic respiratory diseases, east asia region, financial investment, global economy, health and development, household level, non communicable diseases, premature deaths, public health measures, public health threat, regional director, s south, south east asia, south east asia region, southeast asia, un general assembly, world health organisation