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ESMO Calls to Integrate NCD Strategies into National Plans to Ensure Uninterrupted Cancer Services at the 75th World Health Assembly

27 May 2022

An ESMO statement was delivered by the ESMO Director of Public Policy, Rosa Giuliani, on the topic of ‘Follow-up to the political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases’ during the World Health Assembly (WHA75), 22-28 May 2022.

Rosa Giuliani, ESMO Director of Public Policy
ESMO Statement on Non-communicable Diseases

ESMO welcomed the many NCD strategies under this agenda item, and called on countries to implement them to support achieving universal health coverage and resilient health systems. ESMO urged the integration of these strategies into national NCD plans to avoid the delays and disruptions in cancer services reported by WHO during the current pandemic and health emergencies.

To support countries in planning and prioritizing their cancer services, ESMO highlighted its evidence-based ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, that set the standard of cancer care, and have also been adapted for cancer management during the global pandemic and can be found on the ESMO COVID-19 and Cancer portal.

The 194 WHO Member States unanimously noted and decided to adopt the strategies and recommendations in the documents below:

  1. Draft implementation road map 2023–2030 for the global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013–2030 (document A75/10 Add.8)
  2. Draft recommendations to strengthen and monitor diabetes responses within national noncommunicable disease programmes, including potential targets
  3. Draft global strategy on oral health (document A75/10 Add.1)
  4. Draft recommendations on how to strengthen the design and implementation of policies, including those for resilient health systems and health services and infrastructure, to treat people living with noncommunicable diseases and to prevent and control their risk factors in humanitarian emergencies (document A75/10 Add.2)
  5. Progress in the implementation of the global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem and its associated goals and targets for the period 2020–2030 (document A75/10 Add.3) and the Corrigendum
  6. Progress achieved in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases and the promotion of mental health
  7. Draft intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders in support of universal health coverage (document A75/10 Add.4)
  8. Draft action plan (2022–2030) to effectively implement the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol as a public health priority
  9. Draft recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity over the life course, including potential targets
  10. Draft workplan for the global coordination mechanism on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
  11. Strengthening synergies between the World Health Assembly and the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Notes:

  • The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The theme of the 2022 World Health Assembly is: Health for peace, peace for health.
  • In 2018, the ESMO statement for the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs noted that 30 to 50% of cancer deaths can be avoided with investments in prevention, early detection, and cancer treatment, and that essential cancer medicines, vaccines, and opioids are inexpensive and should be readily accessible. For innovative expensive cancer medicines, the statement highlighted the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale as a tool to assist governments to prioritize those that have the highest clinical benefit for patients. Before the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, ESMO and ASCO issued a joint public statement on cancer, which was instrumental in achieving the inclusion of a specific text on cancer in the 2018 UN Political Declaration on NCDs.

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