[Ip-health] WHO Newsflash on Noncommunicable Diseases - 20 May 2020

VAN HILTEN, Menno vanhiltenm at who.int
Thu May 21 11:31:40 PDT 2020

Dear Friends,

About half of WHO’s weekly newsflash on noncommunicable diseases (heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes, lung disease) and progress towards SDG target 3.4 (reduce mortality from NCDs between the ages 30-70 by one-third by 2030) is dedicated to COVID-19 and the links  to NCDs.

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With best regards,

Menno van Hilten
Cross-cutting Lead Strategy (NCDs)
Division for UHC/Communicable Diseases and NCDs
World Health Organization I Office 4078 I 20 Avenue Appia I Geneva I Switzerland
Office: +41.22.791.2675 I Mobile: +41.79.457.0929 I Twitter: @mennovanhilten
vanhiltenm at who.int<mailto:vanhiltenm at who.int> I http://www.who.int/ncds/governance/en/

From: Bente Mikkelsen <mikkelsenb at who.int<mailto:mikkelsenb at who.int>>
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
To: VAN HILTEN, Menno <vanhiltenm at who.int<mailto:vanhiltenm at who.int>>
Subject: WHO Newsflash on NCDs

View this email in your browser<https://us18.campaign-archive.com/?e=&u=8aca0e467b6a3cd4dedb2f680&id=fd785c58b9>
WHO update on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)
for colleagues and partners

WHO Department on NCDs
Wednesday, 20 May 2020


COVID-19 exploits and exacerbates existing gaps in NCDs

COVID-19 can negatively affect the health of children and adults who have NCDs in the following ways:

  *   higher susceptibility to infection
  *   higher case fatality following COVID-19 infection
  *   delays in diagnosis of NCDs resulting in more advanced diseas
  *   delayed, incomplete or interrupted therapy (treatment, rehabilitation, palliation) of NCDs
  *   increased behavioural risk factors, e.g. lack of physical activity.
Available evidence suggests that COVID-19-infected people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and obesity, are at increased risk of severe disease and death and poor prognosis seems heightened with advanced age.

COVID-19 risks causing a major NCD crisis across the world.  COVID-19 is amplifying the underlying shortcomings of health systems to respond to the health-care needs of people living with NCDs. It is essential that people living with NCDs continue to receive the treatment and care that they need.


COVID-19: Rapid assessment on the disruption of NCD health services

The extent of the disruptions that people living with NCDs are facing during the pandemic has been assessed by WHO through a rapid assessment which closed on 18 May 2020. More than 130 countries volunteered to participate. We are analyzing the feedback and expect to publish the results towards the end of May 2020.

  *   For further information: Leanne Riley (rileyl at who.int<mailto:rileyl at who.int>)


COVID-19: Guidance for the continuity of essential NCD health services

We are developing a chapter on NCDs in the forthcoming “WHO Expanded operational guidance for the continuity of essential health services during an outbreak”.  The chapter will include guidance on the needed context modification for safe delivery of services for NCD programmes, and considerations for transition towards restoration of activities.

  *   For further information: Jill Farrington (farringtonj at who.in<mailto:farringtonj at who.int>t


COVID-19: WHO will chair work stream on ‘Health response and recovery’ to promote a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19

On 14 May 2020, the Under Secretary-General Ana Maria Menendez, UN Secretary-General’s Senior Adviser on Policy, called for the establishment of a working group to promote the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the policy brief “A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19” issued by the UN Secretary-General earlier this month.

The purpose of the working group is to identify specific priorities and entry points and take action in a timebound manner, to strengthen disability inclusion in the mainstream COVID-19 response and recovery across headquarters and at country levels in four work streams:

  *   Disability inclusion in mainstream COVID-19-related funding
  *   Health response and recovery
  *   Socio-economic response and recovery
  *   Humanitarian response and recovery.
WHO will chair the work stream on health response and recovery.

  *   UNSG’s Policy Brief: https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/sg_policy_brief_on_persons_with_disabilities_final.pdf
  *   For further information: Alarcos Cieza (ciezaa at who.int<mailto:ciezaa at who.int>)


COVID-19: WHO supports the provision of medicines for NCDs in Lebanon

In Lebanon, WHO has been supporting the provision of medicines for the management of NCDs, including for mental health conditions, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. With financial support from the European Union, essential medications for NCDs are now available in 420 primary health care centres and dispensaries across Lebanon.

  *   Website: http://www.emro.who.int/lbn/lebanon-news/noncommunicable-diseases-in-the-context-of-covid-19.html
  *   For further information: Asmus Hammerich (hammerich at who.int<mailto:hammerich at who.int>)


COVID-19: Communicating about eye health

WHO highlighted the role and response of the eye health sector during the COVID-19 pandemic at a webinar organized by NGO the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

  *   Webinar: https://youtu.be/Sghz0hE7Ll8
  *   For further information: Alarcos Cieza (ciezaa at who.int<mailto:ciezaa at who.int>)


WHA73: Historic Health Assembly adopts resolution on the COVID-19 response

The 73rd World Health Assembly, conducted for the first time virtually, adopted a resolution co-sponsored by 131 Member States calling on Member States in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to: “Maintain…  the uninterrupted and safe provision of population and individual level services for  … noncommunicable diseases, mental health ….”

The resolution calls on the WHO Director-General to: “Provide assistance to countries, …  to support  … the uninterrupted and safe provision of population and individual level services, for,…  noncommunicable diseases, mental health, …”.

  *   Resolution (as adopted): https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA73/A73_CONF1Rev1-en.pdf
  *   For further information: Menno van Hilten (vanhiltenm at who.int<mailto:vanhiltenm at who.int>)


WHA73: Dr Tedros highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on progress against NCDs

In his address to the Health Assembly, the WHO Director-General stressed that “the disruption to health systems threatens to unwind decades of progress against … noncommunicable diseases …”.

  *   Speech of the WHO Director-General (as delivered): https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-world-health-assembly


WHA73: WHO’s engagement with the private sector for the prevention and management of NCDs

The World Health Assembly deferred consideration of agenda item 11.2 on Follow-up to the third High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on NCDs to a written silence procedure or a resumed meeting of the Health Assembly later this year.

At the request of Member States, the report now includes an additional Annex 5 on WHO’s engagement with the private sector entities for the prevention and control of NCDs to strengthen the commitment and contribution of the alcohol, food, beverage, sports and pharmaceutical industries to the implementation of national responses to prevent and treat NCDs and reach SDG target 3.4 on NCDs.

  *   Annex 5: https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA73/A73_5-en.pdf
  *   Further information: Menno van Hilten (vanhiltenm at who.int<mailto:vanhiltenm at who.int>)


WHA73: Integrated, people-centred eye care, including preventable blindness and impaired vision

Similarly, the World Health Assembly deferred consideration of agenda item 11.7 on Integrated, people-centred eye care, including preventable blindness and impaired vision to a written silence procedure or a resumed meeting of the Health Assembly later this year.

  *   Report to WHA73 – see page 2 of: https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA73/A73_4-en.pdf
  *   For further information: Alarcos Cieza (ciezaa at who.int<mailto:ciezaa at who.int>)


WHO Results Report for Programme Budget 2018-2019 highlights achievements on curbing NCDs

On 18 May 2020, on the occasion of the World Health Assembly, WHO published its results report “Driving impact in every country” covering the period 2018-2019. With a global budget of US$ 180 million over two years, WHO achieved the following:


  *   The risks of dying from one of the four main NCDs between 30-70 years of age continued to decline, falling from 22% in 2000 to 18% in 2016.
  *   The prevalence of tobacco use among adults above 15 years of age fell from 27% in 2010 to 24% in 2018.
 Global leadership:

  *   The Third High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on NCDs adopted 14 new commitments on NCDs (included in the 2018 Political Declaration)
  *   A commitment to progressively cover 1 billion additional people with essential health services and medicines for the prevention, early detection, screening and appropriate treatment of NCDs by 2023, as an essential component of UHC, was made at the first High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on UHC in 2019.
  *   New multi-stakeholder global initiatives were established on cardiovascular diseases, cervical cancer, childhood cancer, mental health, and the elimination of trans-fats.
 Global goods:

  *   A list of global goods released during the past two years is included in the report.
Country support:

  *   12 countries have implemented at least one intervention included in REPLACE (to eliminate trans fats from the food supply)
  *   20 countries have implemented HEARTS (to reduce hypertension)
  *   25 countries have implemented PEN (to diagnosis and treatment of NCDs in primary health care and universal health care)
  *   136 countries have implemented one or more interventions included in MPOWER (to reduce tobacco use)
  *   100 countries have implemented at least one intervention included in ACTIVE (to increase physical activity).


  *   In 2019, we supported Bhutan to implement the PEN package in two districts, Tsirang and Punakh.  People-centred services have been initiated, together with improved information management, which has had a positive impact on the community. The model of care will be evaluated after one year. The Government is committed to scaling up the approach across the country.
  *   The percentage of population smoking in Brazil dropped from 21.8% in 2003 to 13.4% in 2018 following WHO support to implement the MPOWER signature solution (technical package)
  *   In 2019, WHO provided support to Peru to improve survival rates for children with cancer from 50% to 70%.
  *   In 2019, per capita consumption of alcohol dropped by 43% over 15 years in the Russian Federation following the Government’s implementation of WHO’s “best buys” and other interventions outlined in the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.

  *   Report: The section on NCDs starts on page 108 and ends on page 127: https://www.who.int/about/finances-accountability/reports/results_report_18-19_high_res.pdf?ua=1
  *   For further information: Leanne Riley (rileyl at who.int<mailto:rileyl at who.int>) and Menno van Hilten (vanhiltenm at who.int<mailto:vanhiltenm at who.int>)


WHO World Statistics Report 2020 highlights lack of progress towards SDG target 3.4 on NCDs

On 13 May 2020, WHO published the WHO World Statistics Report 2020, which includes a chapter on NCDs and progress towards SDG target 3.4 on NCDs.  Key messages:

  *   Compared with the advances against communicable diseases, there has been inadequate progress in preventing and controlling premature death from noncommunicable diseases.
  *   The probability of dying from any one of the four main NCDs between the ages of 30 and 70 decreased by 18% globally between 2000 and 2016.
  *   The most rapid decline in the age-standardized ‘premature’ mortality rate between ages 30 and 70 is seen for chronic respiratory diseases (40% lower), followed by cardiovascular diseases and cancer (both 19% lower).
  *   Diabetes, however, is showing a 5% increase in premature mortality.  In high-income countries the premature mortality rate due to diabetes decreased from 2000 to 2010 but then increased.  in 2010–2016. In lower-middle-income countries, the premature mortality rate due to diabetes increased across both periods.
  *   Despite the considerable progress made in the first decade of the 21st century, the momentum of change has dwindled since 2010, with annual reductions in the age-standardized premature mortality rates between the ages of 30 and 70 slowing for the main NCDs.
  *   More effective action against the key risk factors for NCDs and more intensive management for those with existing NCDs through strengthened health systems including improved diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation is needed especially in low- and middle-income countries, which in 2016 accounted for 85% of the 15 million premature deaths due to NCDs.
  *   Substantial reductions in NCD mortality require a strengthened health system in countries to deliver equitable and high-quality management of NCDs beginning with hypertension control, and policies that drastically reduce tobacco and alcohol use, prevent and control hypertension, and promote and facilitate healthier diets and physical activity
  *   Current trends and projections point to an anticipated increase in global alcohol per capita by 2025, largely driven by increases in the Americas, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions.

  *   Chapter 3 (pages 12-17) of the report:  https://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2020/en/
  *   For further information: Leanne Riley (rileyl at who.int<mailto:rileyl at who.int>)


ECOSOC will consider report of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on NCDs on 3 June 2020

The Note by the UN Secretary-General to ECOSOC on the work of the WHO-led UN Inter-Agency Task Force on NCDs covering the period 2019/2020 has now been published (in six languages).  ECOSOC Member States will have an opportunity to review the report during a session at ECOSOC on 3 June 2020 as part of agenda item 12(f).

  *   Report: https://undocs.org/E/2020/51?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LatestUnDocuments-EconomicSocialCouncilDocuments+%28Economic+%26+Social+Council+documents+issued+at+United+Nations+Headquarters%29
  *   For further information: Nick Banatvala (banatvalan at who.int<mailto:banatvalan at who.int>)


Policy Brief of the UN Secretary-General: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health

On 13 May 2020, the UN Secretary-General published a policy brief on the need for action to make mental health front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because of the size of the problem (i.e. the mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis), the vast majority of mental health needs remain unaddressed. The response is hampered by the lack of investment in mental health promotion, prevention and care before the pandemic. This historic underinvestment in mental health needs to be redressed without delay to reduce immense suffering among hundreds of millions of people and mitigate long-term social and economic costs to society.
The policy brief sets out the following public policy solution:

  1.  Apply a whole-of-society approach to promote, protect and care for mental health
  2.  Ensure widespread availability of emergency mental health and psychosocial support
  3.  Support recovery from COVID-19 by building mental health services for the future.

  *   WHO press release: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/14-05-2020-substantial-investment-needed-to-avert-mental-health-crisis<https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.who.int%2Fnews-room%2Fdetail%2F14-05-2020-substantial-investment-needed-to-avert-mental-health-crisis&data=02%7C01%7CDudley.tarlton%40undp.org%7Ce52f8f11e3ca4e0f3cd908d7f8176866%7Cb3e5db5e2944483799f57488ace54319%7C0%7C1%7C637250651774291268&sdata=V7FrwugrApe8oKZSWhtwmu8cRSchr%2BuCzg7%2BfphggeU%3D&reserved=0>
  *   Policy Brief: https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/un_policy_brief-covid_and_mental_health_final.pdf<https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.un.org%2Fsites%2Fun2.un.org%2Ffiles%2Fun_policy_brief-covid_and_mental_health_final.pdf&data=02%7C01%7CDudley.tarlton%40undp.org%7Ce52f8f11e3ca4e0f3cd908d7f8176866%7Cb3e5db5e2944483799f57488ace54319%7C0%7C1%7C637250651774281270&sdata=BfMUFC4M8MqsHjzRPrVKARJXEfenhhsIj%2BvefLcQzGM%3D&reserved=0>
  *   Video address: https://youtu.be/XLJlqcFYfeM<https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FXLJlqcFYfeM&data=02%7C01%7CDudley.tarlton%40undp.org%7Ce52f8f11e3ca4e0f3cd908d7f8176866%7Cb3e5db5e2944483799f57488ace54319%7C0%7C1%7C637250651774281270&sdata=3XtLJsugjO4tRkDDQD2qmfh2gtGBDjls0PK7Bda3f1g%3D&reserved=0>
  *   More information COVID-19 and mental health https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/covid-19
  *   WHO tweets:
     *   https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1260916164143783937?s=20<https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FWHO%2Fstatus%2F1260916164143783937%3Fs%3D20&data=02%7C01%7CDudley.tarlton%40undp.org%7Ce52f8f11e3ca4e0f3cd908d7f8176866%7Cb3e5db5e2944483799f57488ace54319%7C0%7C1%7C637250651774301264&sdata=IUitmcJYcrFRH%2BaYNvRNxs6EcHbt4XxuqhXdL3C9Tds%3D&reserved=0>
     *   https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1260902802957664258?s=20<https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FWHO%2Fstatus%2F1260902802957664258%3Fs%3D20&data=02%7C01%7CDudley.tarlton%40undp.org%7Ce52f8f11e3ca4e0f3cd908d7f8176866%7Cb3e5db5e2944483799f57488ace54319%7C0%7C1%7C637250651774301264&sdata=QZgUjkbYNmsLUKk%2F9k%2BYQUvAofHzubtSRcfcNHnnAO4%3D&reserved=0>
For further information: Dévora Kestel (kesteld at who.int<mailto:kesteld at who.int>)


WHO is recruiting four NCD experts: closing date 2 June 2020

WHO has published four vacancy announcements with closing date 2 June 2020:

  *   P4 - Medical Officer (NCDs) with focus on the diagnosis and management of chronic respiratory diseases within the overall scope of NCDs

  *   P4 – Medical Officer (NCDs) with focus on the diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus within the overall scope of NCDs

  *   P4 – Medical Officer (NCDs) with focus on the diagnosis and management of childhood cancers within the overall scope of NCDs

  *   P5 – Medical Officer (NCDs) with focus on cardiovascular diseases within the overall scope of NCDs

Bente Mikkelsen
Director (NCDs)
Division for UHC/Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases
World Health Organization
mikkelsenb at who.int<mailto:mikkelsenb at who.int>

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