The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), whose Ministers of Health met in Muscat, Oman earlier this week, is the first regional entity to respond, at a heads of state level, to the UN General Assembly Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) by developing a regional strategy to address diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease.
Putting commitments into action
The strategy outlines a plan to put into action the commitments agreed upon in September in the UN General Assembly's Political Declaration on NCDs. NCDs cause more than 60% of all deaths in GCC countries, and are caused by shared risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
"The regional strategy details what the six countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) will be doing to tackle NCDs during the next years in terms of reducing people’s exposure to causative risk factors and improving services to prevent and treat these leading health problems," said Dr Ahmed Al Saidi, Omani Minister of Health who chaired the meeting. "It also highlights what the six countries will do to set targets and measure results, advance multisectoral action, and strengthen national capacity."
Reducing premature deaths
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