WHO Regional Committee for the South-East Asia Region @ Healthy India Alliance
WHO Regional Committee for the South-East Asia Region @ Healthy India Alliance

Scaling up action on NCDs in the South-East Asia region

17th September 2019

The Healthy India Alliance called on WHO South-East Asia Member States at the Regional Committee to scale up action on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the region.

The 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the South-East Asia Region (SEARO) took place from September 2-6, 2019, in New Delhi, India. Dr Monika Arora, Executive Director of HRIDAY and coordinator of NCDA member Healthy India Alliance, delivered a statement - on behalf of the World Heart Federation, supported by the NCD Alliance, NCD Alliance Lanka and the Myanmar NCD Alliance - calling on South-East Asia Members States to step up efforts on NCDs to meet the 25x25 and 2030 targets, support implementation of all cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs, elevate the voices of people living with NCDs, young people, and marginalised populations, as well as to secure sustainable financing for NCDs and exercise caution when engaging the private sector in the NCD response.

During the session, Member States also discussed several NCD-related topics including agenda item 7.1 ‘Programme Budget 2018–2019: Implementation and mid-term review’. Advocacy efforts and multi-sectoral actions to implement NCDs “Best Buys” have continued to be promoted and implemented in countries, including through the introduction of major policy initiatives and legislative measures aiming to control tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt and trans fats. During the meeting, it was highlighted that capacity for tobacco cessation has been enhanced in many countries and there is evidence of a reduction in the prevalence of tobacco use in some countries. Other key achievement in countries include: taxation for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Nepal and Sri Lanka; ban on trans-fats in Thailand; plain packaging for tobacco products introduced in Thailand; and the ban on single-stick cigarettes and introduction of regulations on graphic health warnings on tobacco packs in Maldives in 2019. 

Access the NCDA’s Advocacy Briefing for the SEARO RCM here; and the statement delivered here.