The progress in the world on NCD prevention is insufficient to meet the Sustainable Development Goal on NCD prevention. This is the conclusion of a recent report, issued by the Secretary General of the UN in preparation of the UN high-level conference on NCDs in September 2018.
NCDs are a global issue, affecting all countries without exception. The report says that in 2015 almost half (i.e. 7 million) of premature deaths due to NCDs occurred in low-income and lower middle-income countries.
Many countries have made a good start: almost half of the UN member states have phrased NCD policies and commitments, but there is a gap between political commitments and practice. More than 70% show little or no progress in implementation.
This needs to be changed. The report calls upon member states to implement recommended interventions and to engage in partnerships. Among the recommended actions are measures to reduce unhealthy diets, stimulate physical activity and improve accessibility to healthy diets. The private sector should be incentivized to increase the production of healthy food and to reformulate products. International financing of NCD prevention on both global and national level should increase substantially.
It is not too late to reach the SDG target of decreasing premature NCD mortality with 1/3, but to reach that goal a serious acceleration is necessary: bolder policy statements, effective partnerships, sufficient funding and, to start with, implementation of validated measures.