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NewsPresident Sirisena appointed as a co-chair of WHO high level commission on NCDs

President Sirisena appointed as a co-chair of WHO high level commission on NCDs

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1 February, 2018: Leaders in health, politics and development have accepted to participate in the first-ever WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), which aims to identify and propose bold and practical ways to curb the world’s leading causes of death and illness.

The Commission was announced in 2017 by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Commissioners will recommend actions to accelerate progress in tackling NCDs, primarily cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, and promoting mental health and well-being.

The proposed co-chairs of the Commission are Dr Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay; Mr Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka; Ms Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Finland; Dr Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare, Russian Federation; and Dr Sania Nishtar, a former Federal Minister of Pakistan and civil society leader.

The final composition of the Commission will be announced in mid-February 2018 following a two-week period, during which the public has the opportunity to provide information on any conflicts of interest related to its proposed members.

The need to accelerate action to beat NCDs is high on the global political agenda in 2018, with world leaders expected to participate in the third United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs.

NCDs kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 each year. Low- and lower-middle income countries are particularly affected by NCDs with almost 50% of premature deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries. In addition, NCDs are responsible for the deaths of 7 in 10 people across all ages globally, equivalent to approximately 40 million people.

In 2015, world leaders committed to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent WHO reports indicate that the world will struggle to meet that target.

WHO/ Public notice and comment:

In accordance with WHO Guidelines for Declaration of Interests, the names of the proposed Commissioners of the WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs are published on 1 February 2018 with the view to afford the public a period of two weeks to provide information on any conflicts of interests related the proposed Commissioners being considered for appointment. Such information should be emailed to the WHO Secretariat using the email address ncdcommission@who.int.

Co-Chairs:

Tabaré Vázquez
President
Uruguay

Maithripala Sirisena
President
Sri Lanka

Pirkko Mattila
Minister of Social Affairs and Health
Finland

Veronika Skvortsova
Minister of Healthcare
Russian Federation

Sania Nishtar
Former Federal Minister
Pakistan
Founding President, Heartfile

Commissioners:

Adolfo Rubinstein
Minister of Health
Argentina

Festus Gontebanye Mogae
Former President
Botswana
Former Co-Chair of the UNSG-appointed High-level Panel on Access to Medicine

Michelle Bachelet
President
Chile

Seyyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi
Minister of Health and Medical Education
Iran (Islamic Republic of)

José Narro Robles
Minister of Health
Mexico

Graça Machel
Mozambique
UNSG-appointed SDG Advocate

Adboulaye Diouf Sarr
Minister of Health and Social Care
Senegal

Gan Kim Young
Minister for Health
Singapore

Saia Ma’u Piukala
Minister of Health
Tonga

Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais
Minister of Health and Prevention
United Arab Emirates

Eric Hargen,
Deputy Secretary of HHS
United States of America

Sir George Alleyne
Director Emeritus PAHO (1995-2003)
Former UNSG’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean

Ala Alwan
Regional Director Emeritus WHO/EMRO
Former WHO Assistant Director-General for NCDs and Mental Health

Arnaud Bernaert
Head, Global Health and Healthcare
World Economic Forum

Michael Bloomberg
Founder, Bloomberg Philanthropies
WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs and Injuries

Katie Dain
CEO, NCD Alliance
Co-Chair, WHO Civil Society Working Group for the third High-level Meeting on NCDs

Tom Frieden
President and CEO, Resolve, Vital Strategies
Former Director US/CDC

Vikram Harshad Patel
Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Psychiatrist
Harvard Medical School

Annette Kennedy
President
International Council of Nurses

Ilona Kickbusch
Director, Global Health Institute
Graduate Institute

Jack Ma
Founder and Executive Chairman
Alibaba Group
UNSG-appointed SDG Advocate

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