On April 9th and 10th, the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a High-Level Conference on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Turkmenistan. The discussions were focused on national actions to reduce the burden of NCDs by applying WHO “best buys”, measures that have been proven to work.

NCDs are responsible for 9 in 10 deaths in Europe

NCDs account for the highest toll of death in Europe. Non-communicable means not transmitted from person to another. Nearly 90% of deaths and 84% of ill-health are due to NCDs, such as cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).

NCDs are in most cases preventable and they do not only kill, but also seriously decrease Europeans healthy years and quality of life, causing a great suffering for patients and their families.

Reducing premature deaths caused by NCDs by 2030

Within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world governments have committed themselves to reduce premature deaths trough NCDs by one third by 2030. Possible actions to achieve this goal range

WHO “best buys” can be a game-changer in combating NCDs

The WHO “best buys” are measures which are known to curb rates of disability and death from NCDs. Yet, the level of implementation of these measures is still low. According to WHO, by properly implementing these “best buys”, countries could close the health divide in Europe and reduce premature deaths from NCDs by 33% by 2030.

For managing chronic respiratory disease, the WHO “best buys” recommend symptom relief for patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with inhaled salbutamol as well as treatment of asthma using low dose inhaled beclometasone and short acting beta agonist.

More information on the conference can be found here.