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WHO for enhanced partnership to curb non-communicable diseases

Delhi,Health/Medicine, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) With non-communicable diseases causing an estimated 7.9 million deaths annually in southeast Asia region, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuesday called for intervention from multiple sectors like health, education and food and nutrition to curb this trend.


"The reported burden of non-communicable diseases in southeast Asia is just the tip of the iceberg. A public health approach with appropriate research is urgently needed to bring this invisible portion to our attention for action," said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO regional director for southeast Asia.


According to the WHO, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental disorders can be prevented through effective public health approaches that address risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.


"Interventions are needed from multiple sectors such as health education, food and nutrition, environment, transport and communications. Community education and the use of appropriate technology to address equity and social justice issues are also needed to tackle these diseases," said Plianbangchang.


"Our current health systems are highly skewed towards medical care despite undisputable evidence that public health interventions are much more cost effective. This is disheartening because resources for health are scarce and the health systems are overstretched," he said.


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