Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus på video
Share this:


The vast majority of NCD-related deaths occour among poor people in the poorest countries.

We need commitment from the highest places in society

New WHO Director-General:

Points at alcohol and tobacco control to combat non-communicable diseases

«Much of suffering because of non-communicable diseases can be avoided by doing a better job in prevention and treatment. But this requires political commitment in the highest political places, says WHO’s new Director-General and points at alcohol and tobacco control as areas of priority.

Today the WHO Global Conference on NCDs opens in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Politicians, experts and NGO representatives from all corners of the world will meet for three days to discuss how government policies can be geared towards promoting health and preventing and treating non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This shall serve to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4 to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

uruguay-logo-630px.jpgThis is one of the first big global WHO events after the new Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has taken office. In a video interview Dr. Ghebreyesus comments on the Montevideo conference: “Almost all of us know someone who has suffered or died from heart disease, cancer, lung disease or diabetes. Non-communicable diseases kill more than any other cause of death worldwide.

The vast majority of these deaths occur not in rich nations, but among the poorest people in the poorest countries”.

The WHO D-G points in particular at health-harmful commercial products and mentioned tobacco and alcohol as examples. “Marketing of such products is devastating people in poor countries. However, much of the suffering can be avoided by doing a better job in preventing the diseases in the first place”, said Dr Ghebreyesus and mentioned strengthening policies to control alcohol and tobacco as effective solutions.

“For this to happen we need commitment from the highest places in society”, concluded the new leader of the World Health Organization.

The full video with the WHO Director-General can be viewed here.