INVEST TO PROTECT
INVEST TO PROTECT
Once again, it’s time to begin preparations for the Global Week for Action on NCDs, taking place this year from 5 to 11 September.
In 2022, we are bridging the NCD Investment gap.
It is all about prioritising the urgent need for increased NCD financing to prevent and treat NCDs and build resilient health systems that leave no one behind.
Following through on commitments
Over the past decade, NCDs have been elevated onto national and global health and development agendas. Various political commitments have been made – the landmark 2011 UN Political Declaration on NCD Prevention and Control, the 2025 global NCD targets, the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020, and NCD integration into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). SDG 3.4 addresses NCDs specifically, and world leaders committed to a one-third reduction in deaths between 30 and 70 years of age from four key NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes – by the year 2030.
41 million people die every year due to an NCD, accounting for over 70% of all deaths worldwide. But the deaths from NCDs are projected to escalate to 52 million - 75% of all deaths - within just eight years, by 2030. Although the burden is universal, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are hit the hardest, with over three-quarters of all NCD deaths occurring in these countries.
The human and economic toll of NCDs is unacceptable, inequitable, and increasing.
Now, just eight years before time is up on SDG 3.4, half of the world’s population still cannot access essential health services, and an estimated 100 million people worldwide are pushed into extreme poverty every year by the cost of their healthcare needs. On a global level, it is estimated that between 2011-2030, the toll of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer alone could result in a cumulative global loss in productivity of an estimated USD 47 trillion, over USD 2 trillion per year.
The world now has a truly global agenda for prevention and control of NCDs, with shared responsibilities for all countries based on concrete targets. But seeing these targets translate into longer healthier lives for people everywhere requires increased investment in NCD prevention and care, as part of delivering UHC and leaving no one behind.
In the past several decades, there have been great advances made in global health; for example, in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. So we know that the change we need to see is within our reach. It will take investment – but the cost of action is far, far less than the cost of inaction.
For an investment of $1.27 per person per year, low- and middle-income countries could save 8.2 million lives, prevent several NCDs, and generate $350 billion by 2030.
The bottom line is this: Investing in NCD prevention will save money and lives, and is the only way to achieve the SDG target 3.4. Scaling up and accelerating action on NCDs should be seen as the fulfilment of a promise by governments, and a moral imperative rather than a choice. It is time to follow through on commitments made towards healthier populations.
2022 GW4A campaign priorities
Financing for NCDs has stagnated at a pitiful 1-2% of development assistance for health for two decades. Furthermore, NCD investment by national governments is severely lacking, and data on NCDs in many countries is patchy and insufficient. The Global Week of Action on NCDs in 2022 aims to get a message across to governments, donors, international agencies and private sector: Invest in health today, save lives and money tomorrow.
We are calling civil society to get involved by focusing on solutions that are key to mobilising effective investments in health. You can take part at any level – locally, nationally, or globally – and actions can be as simple or complex as you wish to commit to. We will be making tools and resources available in multiple languages to help you take part, so stay tuned to the Global Week for Action on NCDs website for the latest updates.
Investment in health is within the reach of all countries, and this year we are demanding an end to the massive disregard of human life.