WCPT urges UN member states to set commitments on noncommunicable diseases

WCPT, as part of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), has urged the UN member states to set clear and measurable commitments around noncommunicable diseases.

NCDs are a major public health concern. The four main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases. However, a number of other conditions are associated with these diseases and include renal, endocrine, neurological, haematological, gastroenterological, hepatic, musculoskeletal, skin and oral diseases and genetic disorders; mental and substance use disorders; disabilities, including blindness and deafness; and violence and injuries. Because these diseases share the same social determinants and common risk factors, an integrated approach would help ease the burden on health systems and the economy.

At a recent meeting of the UN High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases in New York, member states agreed a Political Declaration. This declaration emphasises the importance of strengthening health care systems and the healthcare workforce. But WCPT is concerned at the lack of detail and commitment for country targets, the omission of monitoring measures, and the lack of specific commitments and targets for funding.

Jonathon Kruger, WCPT Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘As healthcare professionals, physical therapists see first-hand the impact of noncommunicable diseases, and the negative impact of inaction. Noncommunicable diseases are increasing the bill and burden on already under-resourced health care systems across the world.

‘WCPT would like to see UN member states take action and commit to measures which will strengthen health care systems, and increase access to well-educated and equipped health workforce.’

The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) speaks for more than 31 million health professionals across 130 countries and brings together the International Council of Nurses, International Pharmaceutical Federation, World Confederation for Physical Therapy, FDI World Dental Federation and the World Medical Association. WHPA works to improve global health and the quality of health services and facilitates collaboration among the health professions and other major stakeholders.

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