Noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases

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.


90%of new cancer cases diagnosed each year in the Western Pacific Region are in developing countries.

More on cancer

Cardiovascular disease

23.6 millionpeople will die from cardiovascular diseases in 2030.

Cardiovascular diseases fact sheet


75%of diabetes cases diagnosed each year in the Western Pacific Region are in developing countries.

More on diabetes

Chronic respiratory diseases

Over 3 milliondeaths every year are due to chronic respiratory diseases.

More on chronic respiratory diseases

Regional Commitee Resolutions on NCD

Health Promotion

  • Learn more about health promotion here
    Health is created and lived by people within the environments of their every day lives. As a core function of public health, health promotion supports governments, communities and individuals cope with and address health challenges.


Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila