NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES &
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
What are non-communicable diseases?
Diseases are either communicable or non-communicable. Communicable diseases are transferable to other people and they are caused by a virus or infection. Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are non-infectious and non-transmissible between persons they are generally caused from heredity, deficiencies in nutrition or factors involving the environment. NCDs may be chronic diseases of long duration and slow progression, or they may result in more rapid death such as some types of sudden stroke. They include autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease - heart disease, stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory disease -asthma, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, mental health problems, musculoskeletal conditions and more. While sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as synonymous with "chronic diseases", NCDs are distinguished only by their non-infectious cause, not necessarily by their duration.
The lungs are the area where air is breathed in and exhaled out during respiration. Asthma is a chronic condition where the bronchial wall muscles constrict and cause inflammation in the airway passages. As a result, an excess of mucus is produced. Symptoms of this disease that flare up include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. These symptoms can be triggered when pollutants, pollen and pet dander are breathed in.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that takes place on the skin. Under normal circumstances, the skin forms cells, and they are shed or "sloughed off." With psoriasis, the skin cells grow too fast and they build up on the surface of the skin. This causes red, painful blotches that can become scaly and irritated. There is no known cure for this disease and it can come and go without warning.
Ulcerative colitis is a form of...
Today, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes represent a leading threat to human health and development. These four diseases are the world’s biggest killers, causing an estimated 35 million deaths each year – 60% of all deaths globally – with 80% in low- and middle-income countries. These diseases are preventable. Up to 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors, mainly tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.
Unless addressed, the mortality and disease burden from these health problems will continue to increase. WHO projects that, globally, NCD deaths will increase by 17% over the next ten years. The greatest increase will be seen in the African region (27%) and the Eastern Mediterranean region (25%). The highest absolute number of deaths will occur in the Western Pacifi c and South-East Asia regions. We have the right vision and knowledge to address these problems. Proven cost-effective strategies exist to prevent and control this growing burden.
However, high-level commitment and concrete action are often missing at the national level. NCD prevention and control programmes remain dramatically under-funded at the national and global levels and have been left off the global development agenda. Despite impacting the poorest people in low-income parts of the world and imposing a heavy burden on socioeconomic development, NCD prevention is currently absent from the Millennium Development Goals.
However, in all lowand middle-income countries and by any measure, NCDs account for a large enough share of the disease burden of the poor to merit a serious policy response. Working closely with Member States, WHO has, therefore, developed this Action Plan to prevent NCDs from occurring and to help the millions who are already affected to cope with these lifelong illnesses.
This Action Plan, endorsed at the Sixty-fi rst World Health Assembly in May 2008, is based on the sound vision of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, endorsed at the Fifty-third World Health Assembly in May 2000. It also aims to build on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. The Action Plan provides Member States, WHO, and the international community with a roadmap to establish and strengthen initiatives for the surveillance, prevention and management of NCDs.
Furthermore, the Action Plan highlights the pressing need to invest in NCD prevention as an integral part of sustainable socioeconomic development. NCD prevention is an all-government responsibility. Considerably more gains can be achieved by infl uencing policies of non-health sectors than by health policies alone. All stakeholders will need to intensify and harmonize their efforts to avert these preventable conditions and to save millions from suffering needlessly and dying prematurely.
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