More ways, to save more lives, for less money: World Health Assembly adopts more Best Buys to tackle noncommunicable diseases

More ways, to save more lives, for less money: World Health Assembly adopts more Best Buys to tackle noncommunicable diseases

The World Health Organization has expanded the list of ‘NCD best buys’. The updated list was approved at the 76th World Health Assembly, a move that will support governments to select lifesaving interventions and policies for the world’s biggest killers, noncommunicable diseases. This gives countries of every income level support to improve the health of their citizens.   

Interventions offered include taxes and bans on advertising for tobacco and alcohol, reformulation policies for healthier food and drinks and the promotion and support of optimal breastfeeding practices.

The new list also includes secondary prevention for rheumatic fever, acute and long-term management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as several cancer control interventions related to cervical, breast, colorectal, liver and childhood cancer, and the comprehensive treatment of cancer for those living with HIV.  

The latest revision was updated to reflect WHO’s recommendations and guidance and the latest scientific evidence on impact. The report is part of the NCDs Global Action Plan 2023-2030 and is an update from 2017 and is core to the Implementation Roadmap on NCDs. Each revision is based on new WHO normative and standard-setting products, new evidence and data to expand and update the interventions. 

The updated list continues to support that NCD prevention and control is a remarkable bargain that can save millions of lives and add millions of healthy life-years. 

These interventions can help support countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing by one third, premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and the promotion mental health and well-being worldwide by 2030.  

They also provide an opportunity to accelerate national action to prevent and control NCDs to reduce suffering and prevent deaths and pave the way for political commitment at the fourth High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2025. 

The World Health Assembly resolution mandates that the intervention list be continuously updated, when data are available.

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