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Non-Communicable Diseases

Improving cancer prevention and control to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases and help deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), which include cancer, are responsible for 74% of all deaths worldwide. ESMO has consistently highlighted that investments in prevention, early detection, and cancer treatment, and access to essential cancer medicines, vaccines, and opioids are essential to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.4:

By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment. 

Appendix 3 of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan is a menu of policy options and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of major NCDs, i.e., the ‘Best Buys’. For cancer treatment, it includes the 14 most cost-effective actions countries can take. ESMO urges the implementation of WHO’s ‘Best Buys’ to develop and scale-up national Universal Health Coverage benefit packages.

The fourth High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2025 will be a time to reflect on 15 million annual  deaths from NCDs since the third high-level meeting took place in 2018 and hone the policy solutions needed to tackle this scourge.

ESMO will participate in the process of formulating a new UN Political Declaration on NCDs, with recommendations to address the needs of cancer patients and the oncology workforce, as enabled by its official status with both the UN’s Economic and Social Council and the World Health Organization.

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