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WHO Global Action Plan

WHO European High-level Conference on

Noncommunicable Diseases: time to deliver

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 9-10 April 2019

Scope and Purpose

The first European Conference on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases was held in December 2013. It led to the adoption of the Ashgabat Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Context of Health 2020, later endorsed by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe at its 64th session in 2014. The Declaration was a landmark for Europe. It reinforced international mandates on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and emphasized the paramount importance of tobacco control, people-centred health systems, strengthened information systems to support monitoring and evaluation of NCD programmes, intersectoral action for NCD prevention and control, as well as national plans and target setting.

The year 2018 witnessed incredible global mobilization for the prevention and control of NCDs. Member States, WHO and partners expanded their commitments and the scope of their work to achieve ambitious targets. The third United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs and a series of high-level international meetings and conferences on the health system response to NCDs, primary health care, financing for NCDs, global mental health and air pollution serve as context and background for the WHO European High-level Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases in April 2019.

While European Member States have made significant progress in addressing the global NCD agenda, it is now time to review advances and decide on the next steps for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and reducing inequities across the Region. More progress is needed in areas such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, obesity, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, hypertension and diabetes. In April 2019, only 11 years will remain to achieve the SDG 3.4 and related targets and potentially save millions of lives.

The conference follows up on the commitments made at the United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs and seeks to help countries with implementation. This includes strengthening the integration of mental health and air pollution into the NCD agenda as per the Action Plan for the prevention and control of NCDs in the WHO European region 2016-2025. The conference reinforces the urgency for action and the spiralling consequences of inaction, and focuses on how global commitments and experiences can be acted on at the country level and how inequities within the Region can be tackled. It is supported by specific frameworks for addressing four main NCD risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, poor nutrition and physical inactivity, as well as frameworks for addressing diseases.

Ashgabat participants

The 53 Member States of the WHO European Region are invited to send high-level and technical representatives to present their experiences of reducing premature mortality from NCDs and to discuss how to implement successful interventions at the country level. The conference also involves representatives of WHO headquarters and all relevant United Nations, as well as other international governmental and nongovernmental agencies, with a view to identifying further synergies between the work on NCDs, mental health and air pollution at the country level in support of faster progress on NCDs as set out in the SDGs.

Several topical background papers were prepared prior to the conference with a view to facilitating discussions and informing the expected outcomes.

The format of the conference includes high-level panel discussions, technical plenary sessions and interactive working groups.

The WHO Collaborating Centre of the University of Warwick was invited to contribute to the global discussion with two papers presented by Prof Francesco Cappuccio in two separate Parallel sessions on 9th and 10th April:

1. Reducing modifiable risk factors for NCDs associated with unhealthy diet, such as salt, sugar and trans-fats to discuss approaches to monitoring and evaluating policies and enforcement mechanisms, and outline the key areas for further technical support.

2. NCD surveillance to discuss the surveillance of population salt intake: what is currently known about the utility and reliability of different methods for estimating salt intake at population level, and what are the implications for programmes aiming to reduce salt intake at population level.

FP Cappuccio in Ashgabat


Expert Reference Group for European NCD Action Plan

UN City, Copenhagen, 31 Aug - 1 Sep 2015

Scope: to support the WHO European Regional Office in preparation of the draft European NCD Action Plan, and to ensure that the Action Plan is based on best available evidence.

Purpose: to advise the Regional Office on key trends and issues for NCDs, their risk factors and determinants in the WHO European Region, and to put forward strategic options for consideration for NCD prevention and control during the next decade.

Participants:

Dr S Asma (Atlanta, USA) Prof T Laatikainen (Helsinki, Finland) Prof P Puska (Helsinki, Finland)
Prof R Balicer (Tel Aviv, Israel) Prof D Leon (London, UK) Ms B Sinclair (London, UK)
Prof S Boytsov (Moscow, Russian Federation) Dr S Løgstrup (Brussels, Belgium) Prof E Vartiainen (Helsinki, Finland)
Prof FP Cappuccio (Coventry, UK) Prof M McKee (London, UK) Prof J Vestbo (Manchester, UK)
Dr F Cardoso (Lisbon, Portugal) Prof J-M Oppert (Paris, France) Prof K Wahlbeck (Helsinki, Finland)
Dr D Cavan (Brussels, Belgium) Prof PE Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark) Dr K Wickramasinghe (Oxford, UK)
Ms C Cohen (Tel Aviv, Israel) Mr B Pettersson (Stockholm, Sweden) Prof AD Woolf (Truro, UK)
Dr J Flanighan (Rockville, USA) Prof W Philipp (Luxembourg) Dr O Rotar (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Dr A Korotkova (Moscow, Russian Federation) Dr M Pðtschke-Langer (Heidelberg, Germany) Dr Y Zhernakova (Moscow, Russian Federation)

 



 

3. Salt reduction and Iodine fortification Strategies in Public Health.

Sydney, Australia, 25-27 March 2013

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Please read the full report here.

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2. Strategies to monitor and evaluate population sodium consumption

and sources of sodium in the diet.

Calgary, Canada, 19-20 October 2010

In October 2010, the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada jointly convened a technical meeting in Calgary on: "Strategies to monitor and evaluate population sodium consumption and sources of sodium in the diet." The meeting provided and opportunity for detailed discussions on monitoring sodium intake levels at population level, assessment of dietary sources of sodium, and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards sodium and health.

This report is a summary of the evidence and experiences presented during the technical meeting, as well as the discussions of the working group sessions and conclusions reached by the participants.

Please read the full report here.

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1. Creating an enabling environment for population-based

salt reduction strategies.

London, UK, 30 June - 2 July 2010

In July 2010, the World Health Organization and the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency jointly convened a technical meeting in London on: "Creating an Enabling Environment for Population-based Salt Reduction Strategies." The meeting provided an opportunity for detailed discussion on interventions for consumer education and reformulation of industrially produced foods to enable consumers to make appropriate choices to reduce the total sodium content of their diet.

This report is a summary of the evidence and experiences presented during the technical meeting, as well as the discussions of the working group sessions and conclusions reached by the participants.

Please read the full report here.

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WHO GLOBAL STATEGY ON DIET, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH

2008-2013 ACTION PLAN FOR THE GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NONCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES

As part of the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO will convene three multistakeholder information exchange forums and technical meetings focusing on three aspects of population sodium reduction strategies:

  1. Creating environments which enable the reduction of sodium intake. Building on existing experiences, which will focus on interventions for consumer education and reformulation of industrially produced foods to enable consumers to make appropriate choices to reduce the total sodium content of their diet.
  2. Evaluating and monitoring population sodium consumption and sources of sodium in the diet. This will focus on identifying the appropriate tools and protocols that are effective to monitor and evaluate population sodium consumption and sources of sodium in the diet.
  3. The role of fortified salt in iodine deficiency prevention. This will focus on analysing how the two strategies (salt reduction and iodine fortification) can efficiently and effectively work together for the benefit of populations affected.

It is expected that the outcomes of these meetings will constitute a useful resource for Member States and other stakeholders, when planning and implementing interventions aiming at reducing population-wide sodium intake.

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