On Monday, the United Nations kicked off a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD), during which governments, organizations, industry and others convened to discuss solutions to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other conditions — commonly referred to as NCDs.
The toll these diseases take is staggering, According to the World Health Organization, NCDs represent approximately 60% of the global burden of disease, and nearly half of all deaths, with a projected cost of treatment over the next two decades estimated at $47 trillion. Further, nearly 80% of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.
Behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets and limited physical activity are among the factors contributing to the rise in NCDs. In developing counties where NCDs are the most prevalent, systemic factors — such as lack of access to effective health care, limited access to critical, actionable health information, and shortages of skilled health workers – create even more challenges to finding effective approaches to improving health.
Connecting with community-based organizations, participating in multi-sectoral partnerships, seeking ways to build health care capacity and leveraging innovative technology are among the approaches that Johnson & Johnson takes to address the threat of NCDs.