Noncommunicable diseases: Campaign for action – meeting the NCD targets

Estonia taxing sugary drinks to beat NCDs

23 June 2017 - Estonian lawmakers have approved legislation taxing soft drinks to cut sugar consumption, improve health and raise revenue. This initiative is in line with WHO’s advice on reducing consumption of sugary drinks to tackle the epidemics of diabetes and obesity. Estonia’s step demonstrates the feasibility of governments acting to beat NCDs.

WHO/C. Black

Oman beating noncommunicable diseases at souks and bakeries

11 August 2017 – From smoke-free souks to low-salt bread, businesses and communities in the Sultanate of Oman are leading the charge against noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart and lung diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Oman is one of several countries selected by WHO to receive support to fast-track progress on achieving nine global targets to prevent and control NCDs, including a reduction of premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.

Meet the NCD targets

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and their causes affect us all. They threaten health and livelihoods, plunge people into poverty and hinder the development of communities worldwide. But NCDs can be prevented and controlled. WHO is working with governments and partners to #beatNCDs, and help people live healthier, longer lives.

Monks playing football and being physically active in line with the country’s push to beat NCDs at a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan.

Bhutan making its people healthier, happier by beating noncommunicable diseases

Monks are promoting healthy diets and physical activity. Finance officials are taxing tobacco and alcohol. Local health workers are dispensing heart disease and diabetes care virtually on the doorsteps of villagers.

In Bhutan, protecting people from cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancers, and diabetes is a national priority. It has put in place a national plan, linking all sectors, from health to finance and education, to prevent and control these noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

WHO/P Dodedrak
Two women in front of a computer implementing IraPEN, Iran’s adaptation of WHO’s Package of essential noncommunicable disease (PEN) interventions for primary health care.

Islamic Republic of Iran on a fast-track to beating noncommunicable diseases

Since the 1960s, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s urban population has tripled and life expectancies have risen. This, however, has increased people’s exposure to tobacco, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity – among the main risk factors for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), primarily cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Thankfully, advances led by the very highest levels of government, and backed by WHO, to reduce the devastating impacts of NCDs are progressing rapidly, supported by strong governance and collaboration across all sectors of society.

A woman choosing vegetables and fruits at a market in Barbados.

Treating cardiovascular disease in Barbados

The outwardly calm and relaxing Caribbean island of Barbados hides a pressure-cooker health crisis: more than one-third of Barbadians aged 25-70 years suffer from hypertension, the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – the world’s number one killer.

However a new program focusing on key efforts to help people their exposure to cardiovascular risk factors, along with improving the access to medical treatment and essential drugs shows that patient-centred care greatly improves blood pressure control in people at risk of CVDs. WHO, the Office of the President of Uruguay, and that country's Ministry of Health are organising the Global Conference on NCDs.

WHO/H Ruiz

Uruguay President, WHO to stage global conference on NCDs

From 18-20 October 2017, world leaders will meet in Montevideo, Uruguay, to promote health and national development through taking action to beat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes.

WHO, the Office of the President of Uruguay, and that country's Ministry of Health are organising the Global Conference on NCDs.

About the campaign

Group of children doing exercise together.

16 million people died prematurely from NCDs in 2012 alone. Taking action against the main NCD risks – tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity – will help countries meet global targets to reduce deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025. It’s time to unleash the world’s potential to beat NCDs.

What can you do?

People marching and holding signs saying

Start your own national or local campaign to raise awareness among the general public on the impact of noncommunicable diseases, their cost, and the actions that can be taken now to beat NCDs.

Share your story

NCDs affect millions of people in many different ways, from those living with cancers, heart and lung disease, and diabetes, to loved ones and health workers caring for those affected. Share your story on how NCDs affect you.

Country implementation

Doctor conducts blood pressure screening at youth parliament, Sri Lanka.

Information on how noncommunicable diseases impact countries, and the measures being undertaken to prevent and control these conditions.