Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), principally cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, impose a significant burden on health and development in the Western Pacific Region.
NCDs are the leading causes of death and disability, responsible for 80% of all deaths in a Region that is home to more than one quarter of the world’s population. Of particular concern is the high level of premature mortality from NCDs (deaths before 70 years of age): they account for 50% of such deaths in low- and middle-income countries. There are indications that NCD-related morbidity and mortality will continue to rise if urgent measures are not taken.
The environments where we live, study, play and work have a huge influence on our behaviour. To succeed in improving environments and reducing the major modifiable risk factors (tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity), strong collaboration among health and relevant non-health sectors and civil society is needed.
To support Member States in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, the WHO Western Pacific Region NCD programme works to:
- raise the priority accorded to NCDs through international cooperation and advocacy;
- strengthen national capacity to accelerate country response;
- reduce the modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity through creation of health-promoting environments;
- strengthen health systems to address prevention and control of NCDs through people-centred primary health care and universal health coverage;
- promote national capacity for high-quality research and development; and
- monitor trends, determinants and progress to achieve global, regional, and national targets through evidence-based interventions.
These follow the objectives of the global and regional actions plans for the period to 2020.
Regional Commitee Resolutions on NCD
WPR/RC64.R6 Noncommunicable diseases (2013)
- WPR/RC62.R2 Expanding and intensifying NCD prevention and control (2011)
- WPR/RC59.R5 NCD prevention and control (2008)
- WPR/RC57.R4 NCD prevention and control (2006)
- WPR/RC51.R5 Prevention and control of NCD (2000)
Regional Publications and Meeting Reports
Malaysia and WHO tackle the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children
UN Task Force on NCDs: Joint UN action to respond to NCDs epidemic in Mongolia
WHO advocates for healthy and resilient cities in the Western Pacific Region
Noncommunicable diseases prematurely take 16 million lives every year, WHO urges countries to invest in "best buy" interventions
WHO warns against the dangers of excessive salt consumption
Prevent and control noncommunicable diseases for healthy islands
New Zealand and WHO join forces to combat tobacco use and heart disease in the Pacific