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Thematic guide: Noncommunicable diseases - high on the political agenda in 2011

WHO advocacy poster
WHO advocacy poster

Raising the priority given to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in health and development has been a key priority for WHO since the development of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (2000) and the endorsement of its Action Plan by the World Health Assembly in 2008. Our thematic guide to internet resources leads you beyond the limits of the Medicus Mundi International Network. Any important resources missing? Please let us know. For MMI Network resources, please also refer to our "Control major diseases" main page. 

Key references and resources

WHO and UN:

  • Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. Outcomes of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Disease Control. Report by WHO Secretariat
    December 2011, for WHO EB
  • Implementation of the global strategy and action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs. Report by WHO Secretariat
    November 2011, for WHO EB
  • Implementation of the global strategy and action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs. Report by WHO Secretariat
    November 2011, for WHO EB
  • Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
    64th World Health Assembly, May 2011, Document A64/21
  • Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
    UN GA Resolution A/RES/64/265, April 2010
  • 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases
    "Working in partnership to prevent and control the four noncommunicable diseases — cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases and the four shared risk factors - tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and the harmful use of alcohol" (WHO 2008)
  • A prioritized research agenda for prevention & control of noncommunicable diseases
    WHO 2011
  • Global status report on noncommunicable diseases
    WHO 2010
  • WHO topics page: Chronic diseases
  • Noncommunicable disease surveillance and global NCD infobase
  • Stop the global epidemic of chronic disease: WHO advocacy guide




UN high level meeting on NCD, September 2011: civil society positions

United Nations NCD Summit, New York, 19-20 September 2011

United Nations NCD Summit: Political Declaration
adopted on 19 September 2011

  • Statement of concern on lack of clarity on role of industry
    UN High Level Meeting
    Statement signed by over 100 NGOs (including the MMI Network) and delivered to the President of the UN General Assembly
    - Statement:
    - Press release:
    - Letter published in The Lancet:
  • Medicines for non-communicable diseases: Within our grasp but out-of-reach
    Health Action International briefing note, September 2011
  • Addressing non-communicable diseases by investing in health workers. HWAI letter to UN member states, September 2011
  • UN High-Level Meeting puts NCDs on the map, falls short of setting goals or targets
    NCD Alliance commenting the Political Declaration, 19 September 2011 
  • Alarmed global AIDS activists join the fight to ensure a successful UN NCD summit
    Gregg Gonsalves on: Ip-health, September 2011
  • NCD Alliance: UN Member States jeopardise international progress on non-communicable disease epidemic
    Letter to the UN General Secretary, 16 August 2011
  • WPHNA: Updated draft political declaration of the UN high level meeting:
    Text, comments and advocacy proposals
    "On crucial points the Declaration continues to follow the lines laid down by conflicted transnational industry. These have been represented by bodies such as the World Economic Forum, and follow what is now the common view that conflicted industry should be a full partner in policy formulation as well as implementation. This view is not held by public health and public interest organisations." (August 2011)
  • NCD Alliance: Priority language for the outcomes document
    "This paper sets out the priority language that the NCD Alliance is requesting Member States consider for inclusion in the final Outcomes Document of the UN high level meeting." (Version: 4 July 2011)
  • WHO: Spotlight on non-communicable diseases prevention and control
    K. M. Gopakumar and Chiara Bodini, TWN Info Severice (May 2011)
  • "Preventive measures for social and environmental factors must be included"
    Joint MMI/PHM statement at 64th World Health Assembly (May 2011)
    MMI ePlatform

Noncommunicable and chronic diseases: papers and positions

  • A New Global Health Agenda
    Edward E. Partridge et al., 4 October 2011
  • Big tobacco, the food & beverage industry are not civil society
    Gregg Gonsalves, 27 September 2011
  • Reflections on the UN High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases
    J. Stephen Morrison, 26 September 2011
  • UN NCD Summit: Empty words don't save lives
    "Erika' blog" on imaxi, 12 September 2011
  • NCDs: Public health policy at the mercy of corporate greed
    Boyd Swinburn in: National Times (Australia), September 2011
  • Informing the 2011 UN session on noncommunicable diseases: Applying lessons from the AIDS response
    Peter Lamptey et al. in: PLoS Medicine, September 2011
  • Tackling NCDs: a different approach is needed
    "Describing the rising prevalence of NCDs as a crisis makes for good drama, but misleads us into thinking that this problem is amenable to a quick fix. (...) Much has been learned from vertical disease-oriented programmes. Evidence suggests however that better outcomes occur by addressing diseases through an integrated approach in a strong primary care system."  Jan De Maeseneer et al. in: The Lancet, September 2011 - payment or subscription required
  • Non-Communicable Diseases: Will industry influence derail UN summit?
    Deborah Cohen in: BMJ, August 2011
  • UN high level meeting on non-communicable diseases: an opportunity for whom? David Stuckler et al. in: BMJ, August 2011 or PDF on
  • Framing international trade and chronic disease
    R Labonte et al. in: Globalization and Health, July 2011
  • Expectations for the United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases
    Devi Sridhar et al in: WHO Bulletin, July 2011
  • Bringing African priorities to global action on NCDs
    Rene Loewenson in: Health Diplomacy Monitor, June 2011, P. 15-18 (pdf)
  • UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases: addressing four questions
    Robert Beaglehole et al. in: Lancet (2011) - see also:
  • Rethinking health-care systems: a focus on chronicity
    Pascale Allotey et al. in: The Lancet (2011)
  • Getting the politics right for the September 2011 UN High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases
    Devi Sridhar et al., SCIS report (2011, pdf)
  • Raising the priority of preventing chronic diseases: A political process
    Robert Geneau et al. in: The Lancet (2010)
  • The hope and the promise of the UN Resolution on non-communicable diseases
    George Alleyne, David Stuckler, Ala Alwan in: Globalization & Health (2010, PDF)
  • Health transition in Africa: practical policy proposals for primary care
    D Maher et al. in: Bulletin of the World Health Organization (2010)
  • Where have all the donors gone? Scarce donor funding for non-communicable diseases
    Rachel Nugent and Andrea B. Feigl, CGDev Working Paper 228 (2010)

Global initiatives and thematic leaders

  • NCDnet - Global Noncommunicable Disease Network
    "The NCDnet (Global Noncommunicable Disease Network) is a voluntary collaborative arrangement comprised of United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, academia, research centres, nongovernmental organizations, and the business community"
  • NCD Alliance
    "We are an informal alliance of four international federations (IDF, UICC, worldheart, The Union) representing the four main NCDs outlined in the World Health Organization’s 2008-2013 Action Plan for NCDs: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease."
  • NCD Alliance: Common Interest Group
    The NCD Alliance Common Interest Group (CIG) has been established to create a powerful network group of like minded NGOs who wish to work together to achieve the NCD Alliance six key objectives: (1) NCD national plans for all (2) Improved lifestyles (3) Strengthened health systems (4) Global access to affordable and good quality medicines (5) A tobacco free world (6) Human rights for people with NCDs
  • WHO Cluster: Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH)
  • WHO Department: Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion (CHP)
  • WHO Regional Offices: control of chronic, noncommunicable diseases (Overview)

Conferences: announcements and documentations

  • United Nations High-level Meeting on noncommunicable disease prevention and control (UN NCD Summit)
    New York, 19-20 September 2011
  • WHO global forum: Addressing the challenge of noncommunicable diseases.
    Moscow, 27 April 2011
  • WHO Europe: Regional high-level consultation on non-communicable diseases, 25-26 November 2010 in Oslo
  • WHO: Informal dialogue with the NGO sector on the way forward to the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Non-communicable Diseases
    Geneva, 1 November 2010 (Report, PDF)
  • The emerging burden of chronic diseases and its impact on developing countries
    15–16 April 2010, Copenhagen (Conference Report, World Diabetes Foundation, PDF)
  • NCDnet: First Global Forum
    24 February 2010, Geneva
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