Monitoring framework agreed to assess progress on NCDs

After three days of discussion last week, WHO Member States agreed on a global monitoring framework to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung conditions. The framework focuses efforts to address and assess:

  • the progress made in reducing associated illness and death;
  • the reduction of exposures to the main risk factors for NCDs, including tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity; and
  • national health systems’ response.

9 voluntary global targets and 25 indicators

The 9 voluntary global targets aim at:

  • combating premature mortality from NCDs;
  • combating harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use, physical inactivity, salt/sodium intake, raised blood pressure, diabetes and obesity; and
  • promoting drug therapy and counselling, and medicines and technologies for NCDs.

The 25 indicators will be used to measure premature mortality, cancer incidence, harmful use of alcohol; low fruit and vegetable intake; overweight and obesity; physical inactivity; raised blood glucose, blood pressure and total cholesterol; salt/sodium intake; tobacco use; fat intake; cervical cancer screening; drug therapy and counselling to prevent heart attacks and strokes; essential NCD medicines and technologies; palliative care; policies to reduce the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children; vaccination against hepatitis B; policies to eliminate partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from the food supply; and vaccination against human papillomavirus.

Strong international political support

WHO’s development of the framework was agreed at the United Nations high-level meeting on NCD prevention and control in September 2011, and is a step towards the development of a global action plan for 2013–2020.

The meeting in Geneva, Switzerland was chaired by Dr Bjørn-Inge Larsen of Norway, and attended by representatives of 119 WHO Member States, the African Union, the European Union and 17 nongovernmental organizations.