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WHO Launches Global Noncommunicable Disease Network

Focused on prevention and control, the new network will "unite currently fragmented efforts by bringing the cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and respiratory communities together with tobacco control, healthy diets and physical activity advocates," the agency said.

Pledging to focus on prevention and to "unite currently fragmented efforts by bringing the cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and respiratory communities together with tobacco control, healthy diets and physical activity advocates," the World Health Organization announced it has launched the Global Noncommunicable Disease Network (NCDnet). Noncommunicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes, and respiratory diseases cause 38 million deaths annually around the world.

"Integrating the prevention of noncommunicable diseases and injuries into the national and global development agendas is not only achievable, but also a priority for developing countries," said Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO's assistant director-general for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. "The goals of the new network are to increase focus on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, to increase resource availability, and to catalyse effective multi-stakeholder action at global and country levels."

NCDnet has the support of the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the World Heart Federation, the International Diabetes Federation, and the International Union against Cancer.

"Noncommunicable diseases are a serious threat to global well-being," said Richard Samans, managing director of the World Economic Forum. "They present a growing economic and social challenge for many developed and developing countries. At the World Economic Forum, we are committed to working with WHO, and in collaboration with other international partners, to build an effective Global Noncommunicable Disease Network."

WHO estimates global deaths from noncommunicable diseases will increase by 17 percent during the next 10 years, with the greatest increase projected in the African Region (27 percent) followed by the Eastern Mediterranean Region (25 percent).

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