WHO agrees first-ever Non-communicable Disease targets

In a major breakthrough at the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week, governments agreed an aspirational set of targets to drive progress on diabetes and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including the first ever global target to halt the rise of diabetes. On the 7 November 2012, after lengthy negotiations in Geneva, governments agreed a Global Monitoring Framework including 9 global targets and 25 indicators on diabetes and NCDs. The first ever global targets have signaled a new era of accountability for diabetes and NCDs and a new level of political commitment in confronting the epidemic.

The first ever global targets have signaled a new era of accountability for diabetes and NCDs

The landmark breakthrough follows over 18 months of negotiations. After governments failed to agree targets at the UN Summit on NCDs in September 2011, the process to establish a Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) including targets and indictors for NCDs was postponed to 2012. Throughout the process, IDF and the NCD Alliance have led the fight to secure a bold set of targets to inspire action and ensure accountability for diabetes and NCDs.

In May this year the first target – “to reduce preventable death from NCDs by 25% by 2025” (the ’25 by 25’ target) was adopted at the World Health Assembly. And now the other 8 global targets and 25 indicators within the Global Monitoring Framework were approved yesterday at a WHO Formal Consultation in Geneva. In summary, the global targets agreed are:

Outcome Targets:

  • A 25% relative reduction in overall mortality from NCDs by 2025

Exposure Targets:

  • Halt the rise in diabetes and obesity
  • 10% relative reduction in prevalence of physical inactivity
  • At least 10% relative reduction in harmful use of alcohol
  • 30% relative reduction in mean population intake of salt
  • 30% relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged 15 years+
  • 25% relative reduction in prevalence of raised blood pressure

Health system response targets:

  • 80% availability of affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major NCDs in both public and private facilities
  • 50% of eligible people receive drug therapy and counselling (including glycaemic control) to prevent heart attacks and strokes

Throughout the WHO-led process, IDF and the NCD Alliance have campaigned against skepticism and reluctance for a meaningful number of targets, and to secure targets that balance prevention, treatment and care. IDF and the NCD Alliance drove the proposal for a target on access to essential NCD medicines and technologies earlier this year – an urgent issue for people with diabetes worldwide – and have kept it prominent throughout negotiations. This target will drive change for the millions of people currently without access to life saving diabetes medicines and technologies.

The target on diabetes and obesity is a major win.
 

The target on diabetes and obesity is a major win. It was driven by countries from the EMRO and SEARO regions with support from the UK and Ireland, and was described by the Canadian delegation as “a stretch target that will motivate and inspire us!” Diabetes is the only one of the four major NCD diseases that now has its own global target. IDF has worked hard to ensure diabetes did not get buried in NCDs and we have succeeded.

The global targets will be formally adopted by Member States at the WHO Executive Board in January 2013.