The silent killer: Non-communicable diseases

Published: 06 December 2010

The NCD Alliance addressed attendants the European Development Days about the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation, presented evidence that NCDs are the world's "biggest killer".

The diseases, which encompass diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and chronic repiratory disease, account for 35 million deaths worldwide each year. Sixty percent of this figure is estimated to attributable to the developing world, with cardiovascular disease being the most common cause of death.

However, despite the fact that four out of five NCD sufferers live in the developing world, the diseases remain absent from the MDGs and only receive around 2% of the European Aid's 22.1billion Euro health budget.

According to the World Economic Fund, NCD's are the second most severe global risk, rated more highly than pandemics and infectious diseases.

Ban Ki-Moon recognised NCDs as "a public health emergency in action" earlier this year. Mbanya cited evidence that predicts a 98% increase of NCD deaths in Africa over the next decade. He blamed the rises on changing lifestyles.

The NDC Alliance are campaigning for a sustainable healthcare system, involving prevention, early detection and surveillance.