Accessible ultra-processed food and intense marketing promotion are major contributors to the NCD epidemic worldwide. © Shutterstock

WHO establishes high-level commission on NCDs

11th October 2017

The WHO has announced it is setting up a high-level commission to identify innovative ways to cut deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and extend the life expectancies of people suffering from the world’s deadliest diseases.

The commission will be chaired by Dr Sania Nishtar, an eminent global advocate for action against NCDs, former minister of the Government of Pakistan and a civil society leader. Dr Nishtar previously served as co-chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.

“We urgently need new approaches and action on a dramatically different scale if we are to stop people dying unnecessarily from noncommunicable diseases,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

NCDs kill roughly 40 million people globally each year, accounting for 70% of all deaths. About 15 million of those deaths are among people between the ages of 30 and 69. More than 80% of all deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries.

In 2015, world leaders committed to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent WHO reports indicate that the world will struggle to meet that target.

Read the full WHO press release