The World Health Organisation and the Russian Federation have jointly organised the first global ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and non-communicable disease (NCD) control. The conference took place in Moscow on 28-29 April and was a milestone in the global campaign to fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease. The conference was the final step in the run-up to the United Nations’ High–Level Meeting (HLM) on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases on 19-20 September 2011.
The OECD played an important role in producing evidence to support the battle against NCDs. It contributed to two background papers for the HLM providing the analytical background on which the final declaration will be based. In particular, the Economics of Prevention team contributed to a paper on priorities for investment, providing an assessment of the effectiveness, cost and efficiency of a number of interventions to tackle NCDs and their key underlying risk factors (e.g. tobacco, physical inactivity, etc.). The document reports results of the analyses on healthy diet that OECD and WHO jointly published on the Lancet as part of the third Lancet series on chronic diseases. In addition, new analyses were carried out to assess interventions, specifically designed to increase the level of physical activity in the following WHO regions: EUR-A, AMR-B and SEAR-D. The Economics of Prevention team has been also involved in shaping a second paper which discusses indicators and targets that can be used to collect, analyse and disseminate data and information on trends in NCD mortality, disease burden, risk factors and determinants, policies, plans and programmes.
The OECD Economics of Prevention team have also taken part in the Lancet NCD action group, a group of world leading experts on NCDs, and co-authored a position paper that was published in the Lancet on 23rd April. The paper argues that NCD death rates can be reduced by 2% per year by implementing five priority actions, including: i) leadership (continued global and national political commitment); ii) prevention (action on tobacco and other risk factors); iii) treatment (access to affordable essential drugs in primary health care); iv) international cooperation, commitment and funding; and, v) monitoring progress and accountability.