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ESMO Calls on Governments to Accelerate Implementation of Actions on NCDs, including Cancer, at the 148th WHO Executive Board Meeting

21 Jan 2021

At the 148th WHO Executive Board meeting, ESMO delivered an official statement related to the WHO Director-General’s Report on the UN’s ‘Political Declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases’. The WHO Report noted the mid-point evaluation of the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, which has been extended from 2013-2020 to 2030. ESMO raised concern that the Report states that many WHO Member States are not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development and Political Declaration goals. This is especially concerning when WHO and UN Resolutions provide clear, actionable blueprints, and the investment case included in the WHO Report on Cancer states that US$1 invested in cancer control yields “a full social return based on both direct productivity and societal gains of US$9.50”. ESMO urged governments to show sustained and strong political will to accelerate implementation of the actions they committed to when they unanimously adopted the WHO and UN resolutions to address NCDs and provide Universal Health Coverage by 2030.  ESMO called on countries to prioritize investments in cost-effective, impactful, high-quality essential health services that are affordable, and to fully integrate cancer into noncommunicable disease plans and universal health coverage packages. ESMO also requested stronger measures for cancer prevention that address the social, economic, and environmental determinants of the disease, and applauded all efforts in health literacy to empower individuals to make informed healthy choices.

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