The Sultanate to Host WHO Global Meeting on NCDs, Mental Health

Muscat, The Sultanate will host the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The meeting is organized by the WHO during 09 � 12 December 2019. The official opening, to be held after tomorrow (Tuesday), will be held under the patronage of Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture at Madinat Al Erfan Theater, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Sultanate was selected to host this high-profile event due to its successful collaboration with the WHO on addressing NCDs milestones, providing a showcase to empower diverse global health stakeholders and thereby accelerating the implementation of national responses to NCDs and mental health conditions.

The meeting is the first Global Meeting on NCDs since the 2018 UN High-Level Declaration on non-communicable diseases and the 2019 UN High-Level Declaration on Universal Health Care. This timely meeting will provide a progressive platform to empower diverse global health stakeholders and facilitate multi-stakeholder action and scale up national action on NCDs whilst linking to the Agenda for Sustainable Development target to reduce premature death from these conditions by one third by 2030, and promote mental health.

This Global Meeting brings together more than 150 countries, with selected UN partners and civil society, the private sector, philanthropies, academia and donors, for an immersive capacity building conference focusing on how governments can implement WHO-endorsed low cost best buy solutions that reduce premature NCD deaths on a dramatic scale, so tens of millions of lives can be saved. Further, through these measures, we could save 8 million lives in low- and lower-middle-income countries by 2030 and generate US$350 billion in economic growth. Examples of these solutions range from marketing bans and taxation to reduce exposure to tobacco and unhealthy foods and drinks, to providing access to essential health services to all people to protect them from these conditions.

The overarching goal of the Global Meeting is to accelerate the implementation of national responses to address NCDs and mental health conditions with a view to reduce premature mortality and scale up interventions to reach SDG target 3.4 by 2030. The Meeting will focus on sharing success stories and challenges in countries.

The event is expected to release a call for action, which will contribute to the implementation of the 2018 UN High-Level Political Declaration on NCDs and 2019 UN Political Deceleration on UHC whilst supporting countries to reach the 2030 development goals. The meeting will comprise a series of exciting and interactive plenary and panel discussions while numerous new initiatives to prevent and control NCDs will be launched.

Walk the Talk Event, organized by the WHO with the Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Ministry of Health in the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex tomorrow (Monday), will be part of the Meeting events.

This will be the first Walk the Talk event in the Middle East and will feature Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in addition to other high-level delegates.

After tomorrow(Tuesday), several major events will be held at the Kempinski Hotel including a press briefing with the presence of high-level delegates, shortly before the high-level meeting, in addition to High-Level Meeting that will contain High-Level Addresses, such as WHO Director-General and Ministers of Health from other countries. Furthermore, the second report from the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs, will be launched on after tomorrow (Tuesday).

The NCDs primarily cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes kill more people than any other cause, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally, including 15 million people prematurely aged between 30 – 70 (nearly half of which occur in low- and lower-income countries). However, many premature NCD deaths can be avoided when action is taken to reduce exposure to the main risks causing them (tobacco, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity) and promote effective treatment, including through universal health coverage.

Source: Oman News Agency