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WHO warns chronic diseases are taking rising toll on lives

United Nations, May 19 (Prensa Latina) A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that non-communicable diseases (or NCDs) are claiming around three quarters of all lives lost each year. The report calls for a substantial increase in investments in health and health systems “to get back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Who added.

Despite overall health progress, WHO said that the increasing toll of NCDs meant that if the trend were to continue, by around 2050, chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory illnesses – will account for 86% of the 90 million deaths each year: a staggering 90% surge in absolute numbers, since 2019.

Overall, the report underscores “a stagnation of health progress on key health indicators in recent years” compared with trends seen during 2000-2015, said WHO. It also warns of the growing threat posed by climate change and calls for a more coordinated and robust response from countries worldwide to deal with the rising health challenges.

Based on data up to 2022, the document states that, despite reducing exposure to many health risks – such as tobacco and alcohol consumption, violence, unsafe water and poor sanitation – progress is inadequate ahead of hazards like air pollution.

During 2020-2021, Covid-19 resulted in 336.8 million years of life lost globally. This equates to an average of 22 years of life lost for every excess death, abruptly and tragically cutting short the lives of millions.

However, the pandemic has put many health-related indicators further off-track and contributed to inequalities in access to high-quality healthcare, routine immunizations and financial protection.


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