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Why NCDs

This section covers health & development challenges presented by NCDs, focussing on disease management & prevention opportunities.

Learn about the NCD epidemic implicated in more than 2/3 of global deaths and its impact on Sustainable Human Development. Find out how NCDs like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, poor mental health and respiratory diseases could and should be better managed. Finally, learn what can be done to prevent many NCDs, with major risk factors including tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diets, inactivity and other social determinants.



Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes – are the most common cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 70% of all deaths and more than three out of four years lived with a disability.


The Financial Burden of NCDs

The financial burden of NCDs is immense, and the financial investment to alleviate this burden on patients, families and carers is comparatively small. WHO's 'Best Buys' offer options that provide not only financial return on investment, but also health and social benefits. 

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NCDs & Sustainable Human Development

NCDs (non communicable diseases) are the #1 cause of death and disability worldwide, and impose years of disability on those affected and their families. NCDs are a significant threat to achieving internationally agreed development goals.


Risk Factors & Prevention

Many NCDs can be prevented by addressing diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use and making the places we live into health enabling environments. 


Lack of access and high cost of care, essential medicines and technologies increases morbidity and mortality, and can force people and families into poverty due to disability and out-of-pocket expenses.


NCDs and COVID-19

This page shares various resources, tools and information to support our network navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.