Heads of State cannot ignore NCDs anymore if they care about the health of their economies and their citizens

Speakers emphasized the need for urgent action as NCDs are increasingly frustrating social and economic development. Health systems in all countries will not be able to cope with the projected burden of NCDs. Governments need to be clear that the cost of intervening is much less than the cost of not intervening. The economic burden of NCDs is already substantial and will become 'staggering’ over the next two decades. Economic policy makers need to better understand that NCDs pose a significant economic threat as they are so expensive to treat and they undermine the labour contribution to production. There is also a substantial opportunity cost as the money spent on treating preventable disease could be better spent elsewhere. Many speakers highlighted the need for a response that is integrated – not competing – with existing initiatives. There was strong endorsement of the need for a clear monitoring and accountability framework as part of the global response to NCDs, with measurable indicators that countries can report against.

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