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African Health Ministers Adopt Declaration Of Commitment To Tackle NCDs

The first Africa Regional Ministerial Consultation on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) wrapped up in Congo’s capital city Brazzaville on Wednesday with African health ministers adopting a declaration of commitment to tackle NCDs,  PANA/Afrique en ligne reports (4/9).

The Brazzaville Declaration on NCDs “urged urgent action by various stakeholders to address major NCDs and priority conditions which represent ‘a significant challenge’ to people in the African region: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, diseases of blood disorder (in particular sickle cell disease), mental health, violence and injuries,” a WHO press release states (4/7).

“Actions include strengthening and standardizing national health systems to generate disaggregated data on NCDs; using appropriate means, including information and communication technologies, to promote health awareness and NCDs prevention and control strategies,” U.N. News Centre writes (4/8).

The declaration called on nations to strengthen health systems; “reorient national health systems towards the promotion and support of healthy lifestyles by individuals, families and communities within the primary health care context in order to effectively respond to complex social, cultural and behavioral aspects associated with NCDs;” and allocate funds from national budgets to support NCD prevention and treatment, according to the WHO release. The release lists additional highlights from the declaration (4/7).

“The declaration specifically requested heads of state and government in the region to endorse the declaration, and present it to the upcoming General Assembly High-Level Summit on NCDs in September as the African position,” PANA/Afrique en ligne adds. The group also “called on the WHO Regional Director for Africa to include the regional NCD strategic plan in the agenda of the 62nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa and report progress made in the implementation of the Declaration to Regional Committee in 2014” (4/9).