Issue No. 13 [2011]
PAHO, Catalyst for Health in the Americas. Health: Our Most Basic Asset.
Sep 23, 2011
NEWS & RELEASES - NOTICIAS
Unite in the fight against NCDs

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease kill 36 million people every year . This need not happen. World leaders met to address the problem at the United Nations in New York in September 2011.

PAHO VIDEOS
Your visual channel on the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York City.
19-20 September 2011

- Dr Roses speaks on NCDs at The New York Academy of Medicine
 

Public policies are needed to make the healthy choices the easy choices to ensure every individual grows well and stays well.


LAUNCH OF WELLNESS WEEK IN THE AMERICAS.
Harlem State Plaza, New York City, NY.
16 September 2011.
Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director.

It is a real pleasure to be here in Harlem, launching the Wellness Week initiative with such an broad group of organizations and people. I wish to thank our host, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, and our co-organizers of this launch event, the New York Academy of Medicine, the City College of New York, Harlem Hospital Center and Emblem Health for their commitment to wellness and their leadership of Wellness Week.

Wellness Week was inspired initially by Caribbean Wellness Day, celebrated each year on 13 September by countries in the Caribbean to raise public awareness about noncommunicable diseases(NCDs) and prevention through healthy living. The idea of a Wellness Week in New York grew out of efforts to mobilize the Caribbean diaspora in New York City around Caribbean Wellness Day. When I first introduced the idea of Wellness Week in Davos at the 2011 meeting of the World Economic Forum, there was tremendous interest from the business community in creating a wide social movement on wellness and healthy living. The idea also took hold with government officials and colleagues from nongovernmental organizations, who committed their support. Today I am proud to say that in just 10 months since the idea emerged, Wellness Week has some 13 organizations leading activities across New York City, and 12 countries throughout the Americas are sponsoring Wellness Week events similar to the one we are celebrating today. I believe this is just the beginning of the change we need to create healthier environments for healthy living and prevention of chronic diseases.

As we gather today in the heart of Harlem--a transformed neighborhood in one of the world's greatest cities-our timing is significant: Heads of governments and civil society leaders will be gathering here in New York on 19 and 20 September for the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases, where they will discuss the challenges, policies and options for tackling the rapid growth of chronic diseases in rich and poor countries alike.

Five percent of the Global Gross Domestic Product is now being spent on care for chronic diseases, and three out of five people will die from these preventable diseases, cutting short lives that should be productive and fulfilling. The chronic nature of illnesses like diabetes, cancer, lung and heart disease creates a major economic burden for patients and their families. As a result, millions of families are falling into poverty. The United Nations High-Level Meeting will focus global attention on the urgent need to prevent and control NCDs.

The messages of Wellness Week-Be Well, Stay Well together with a vibrant logo illustrating vitality-will reach delegates from around the world who are attending this UN meeting. In fact, the Wellness Week messages are wonderfully displayed throughout the New York City subways. We are showing that a social movement is under way to promote healthy settings for healthy living. We are coming together to raise awareness among individuals, families, communities, employers, and governments about the need to support healthy behaviors through social action and through public policies that shape environments in which people can exercise their right to be healthy and stay healthy.

Where better to do this than right here in New York City, which through its public policies is setting examples on how to confront the growing epidemic of NCDs. We applaud the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, under the leadership of health commissioner Thomas Farley, for their unprecedented efforts in NCDs prevention:

  • Eliminating smoking in public places, not only restaurants and closed settings, but also parks and beaches;
  • Making fresh produce available to residents, with economic incentives for delivering fresh foods to disadvantaged areas;
  • Eliminating industrialized trans fats in restaurant foods;
  • Reducing salt in foods; and
  • Displaying the calorie content of fast-food menus.

Your city's streets are safer for walking and cycling and you have increased the availability, affordability and accesibility of public transportation. New York City is a leader in active design for buildings, homes, streets, and parking lots, and you have public spaces that encourage active living.

All this progress has improved the quality of life in New York, but it has done more than that. According to a recent New York City Vitals Report, these interventions prevent some 6,300 deaths annually, while reducing illness and disability.

New York City recognizes a critical truth: that better health is not just a matter of individual choices. Rather, public policies are key to making healthy living viable and sustainable by shaping the environments in which children and youths, adults and senior citizens live, play, work, and travel. Public policies are needed to make the healthy choices the easy choices to ensure every individual grows well and stays well.

In launching Wellness Week, we are sending a message to governments, communities and individuals: that social action connected with public policies is a key part of the solution to the epidemic of NCDs. I know that people, cities, and social movements throughout our hemisphere are eager to join such efforts, and I look forward to seeing your great city continue to lead the way.

Let us all celebrate a long and healthier life for all and make sure the next generation, those that are being born now and tomorrow, are free from NCDs.
 
 

Non-Communicable Diseases

Enfermedades no transmisibles: prevención, diagnóstico y tratamiento oportuno

MEDIA ARTICLE
ARTICULO PUBLICADO EN MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN DE LA REGIÓN DE LAS AMÉRICAS
Mirta Roses Periago (Director, PAHO)
[21 Sep 2011]

 

"En el actual escenario de Salud Pública, nuestro mayor reto es abordar la acción intersectorial con una mayor eficacia"
 


ENFERMEDADES NO TRANSMISIBLES
La epidemia silenciosa de las enfermedades no transmisibles agobia a las Américas, causando casi cuatro millones de muertes anuales y afectando crecientemente a la población más joven y en edad productiva.
 


Por eso, los jefes de Estado de la región, unidos al resto del mundo, están asistiendo a la Reunión Plenaria de Alto Nivel de las Naciones Unidas para analizar las medidas para enfrentar esta tremenda amenaza al desarrollo.


Las enfermedades cardiovasculares, cáncer, diabetes y enfermedad respiratoria crónica afectan enormemente la economía, al afectar la productividad personal, y los sistemas de salud, porque son incapacitantes y de tratamiento muy costoso y prolongado. Además, las enfermedades no transmisibles afectan desproporcionadamente a los más pobres y con menor educación.
 


Casi 30% de las muertes por enfermedades cardiovasculares se producen entre el 20% más pobre de la población, mientras que el 20% más rico solo representa el 13% de las muertes por estas causas. Padecer estas enfermedades empobrece a las familias, especialmente a las más vulnerables, pues causan gastos muy altos, producen discapacidad y afectan el potencial de generar ingresos.

Las causas profundas de esta epidemia silenciosa no se pueden modificar con la acción aislada del sector salud. Este problema es resultado de muchos factores demográficos, sociales y del entorno específico, como el crecimiento poblacional y el envejecimiento, la urbanización acelerada, el mayor sedentarismo por cambios en los modos de vida, y una alimentación basada en comidas muy procesadas, de altas calorías y baja calidad nutritiva.


En consecuencia, es crucial hacer énfasis en la prevención de estas enfermedades, mediante cambios sistemáticos en los entornos físicos y sociales, y haciendo realidad el acceso a diagnóstico y tratamiento oportuno para las personas en alto riesgo.
 


La prevención incluye cambios en diversos sectores, como educación, comercio, planeamiento urbano y agricultura, que determinan lo que comemos, cómo trabajamos y cómo vivimos.

Por eso impulsamos la realización de la primera Semana del Bienestar, que procura desarrollar un movimiento social para construir entornos saludables para una vida saludable. La motivación y participación masiva busca generar mayor conciencia entre las personas, las comunidades, los empresarios y entre quienes toman decisiones públicas acerca de la necesidad de incorporar la prevención de las enfermedades no transmisibles como parte esencial de su accionar.

El lanzamiento de la Semana del Bienestar en Nueva York, con actividades en varios países del continente, es fruto de nuestro trabajo con la ciudad de Nueva York, el Foro Económico Mundial, organizaciones comunales y el sector privado, para convocar a la modificación de los factores de riesgo de las enfermedades no transmisibles y la creación de ambientes que propicien una vida más saludable. Adoptada por los alcaldes y gobiernos locales y nacionales, este primer año ya participan una docena de países del hemisferio y España. Tengo la seguridad de que se convertirá progresivamente en un movimiento social aprovechando las redes de ciudades y comunidades saludables, los alcaldes adheridos a la iniciativa Rostros, Voces y Lugares y otros movimientos como el de ciclovías, 5 al día, asociaciones profesionales y de consumidores, de pacientes y familiares, de corporaciones y entidades religiosas, hasta abarcar todo el hemisferio y extenderse a otros continentes.

Los jefes de Estado están demostrando esta semana su voluntad política para promover los cambios necesarios, aplicando a gran escala intervenciones de éxito probado. Ante la profundidad de los cambios necesarios para confrontar este desafío, el sector privado y la sociedad civil deben trabajar junto con los gobiernos para traducir los acuerdos en mejores niveles de salud y de bienestar de toda la población.

Más información:
- Noticias de la Directora
- Director's News & Releases
 
 
 

PAHO/WHO, UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases and Wellness Week

OPS/OMS, la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas sobre Enfermedades Crónicas y la Semana de Bienestar

BLOG ARTICLE
Mirta Roses Periago (Director, PAHO)
[Washington, DC. 02 Sep 2011]

UN NCDs Summit is a crucial turning point in the world’s awareness and commitment to confronting this epidemic and for achieving health for all

This September, the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) will first and foremost provide an opportunity for society to gain awareness of the importance of the NCDs and to mobilize and take action to effectively address this important health issue. “The great challenge will be what we do after September”. The need to tackle the problem of chronic non-communicable diseases from a multisectoral rather than simply a health perspective is a key point.

Simultaneously we will be celebrating Wellness Week, a series of events and activities that promote healthy living in a healthy environment, which will be open to everyone from September 16 to 21, 2011.

PAHO-UNite in the Fight Against NCDs/ OPS-UNete a la lucha contra las ENT

The UN HLM on NCDs, to be held in New York will provide a venue for obtaining greater commitment from international partners and for establishing the issue as a United Nations development priority.

We can expect that the UN High-level meeting on NCDs, will lead to:

  • Greater awareness among world leaders of the social and economic development implications of NCDs, particularly for the poor.
  • Inclusion of NCDs as a development priority of the UN agenda since it is impacting already the growth potential of developing countries.
  • A changed perception that NCDs are much more than a health problem and therefore warrant responses by all sectors, beyond the health sector.
  • Increased commitment by international organizations for financial and technical support to countries, acknowledging the urgency of having NCDs included as part of their agendas.

PAHO, as the WHO regional office of the Americas, is committed to follow up on the decisions, which will emerge from the UN HLM on NCDs. We will continue working with our constituents, namely the Ministers of Health in the Americas and partners, to catalyze and support the translation of the UN outcome document to policy and practice. First, and foremost, we will continue to advocate for NCDs, with policy makers and leaders and working with our civil society networks such as the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and the Healthy Latin America Coalition. We will host a “Wellness Week” initiative at the time of the UN HLM in New York City and other cities, as a public awareness and advocacy effort to call attention to health and wellbeing and to celebrate, on an annual basis, NCD prevention and control. Wellness Week seeks to develop a social movement on healthy settings for healthy living and increase awareness among individuals, policy makers, communities and employers. The objective of Wellness Week is to emphasize the importance of the built and natural environment and socioeconomic conditions in modifying the risk factors for non-communicable diseases and in promoting prevention.

This is an opportunity to use urban settings as spaces for changing or modeling behavior through the action of different sectors, activities are under way with local leaders, such as mayors, that combine the power of multisectoral interventions with that of the public sector to build consensus, and that this linkage will make a difference.

Several of the initiatives that PAHO/WHO will take will be to ensure that the issue of chronic non-communicable diseases remains on the development agenda, as well as on other agendas, those of policy-makers at such meetings as G-8 and G-20. PAHO/WHO is committed to continuing its work with the ministries of health of the Americas and with partners, to catalyze and reinforce practical and political actions as will be agreed upon in the document to be approved at the United Nations.

Our priority will be to focus on prevention of risk factors, giving special attention to childhood obesity and nutrition; supporting regulations and restrictions for alcohol use, tobacco control and marketing foods to children and adults in general. Primary Health Care is a main priority, and we will continue to work with Member States on models of health care for NCDs that are more people-centered, comprehensive and integrated through the development of Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks based on a strong Primary Health Care foundation.

Given that no one organization can do it alone, PAHO will be working through an innovative partnership platform which we have established with public-private partners, named the Forum for Action on Chronic Diseases. An emphasis in its first year will be on having mass media campaigns to promote health and wellbeing in the Americas and to engage the public and raise awareness about NCD prevention and control.

In the days leading up to, and following the UN HLM, it will be important for all of us to catalyze the momentum across all sectors. I hope all of you members of the health community and all social sectors and partners can take part in making the UN HLM on NCD a crucial turning point in the world’s awareness and commitment to confronting this epidemic and for achieving health for all.

Follow us and comment on:
- Director's BLOG

More information:
PAHO Page on UN High Level Meeting on NCDs

Wellness Week social media channels:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PAHONCDs
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NCDs_PAHO
Blog: www1.paho.org/blogs/wellnessweek
Web page: www1.paho.org/wellnessweek
 
 

HIGHLIGHTS / IN FOCUS
PAHO Upcoming Event
51st PAHO DIRECTING COUNCIL
51o. CONSEJO DIRECTIVO DE LA OPS
 

Hemisphere's Main Forum
for Regional Policy Making on Public Health


Washington DC. 26-30 Sep 2011.

The 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) will met at the headquarters of the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to review and discuss several initiatives, strategies and resolutions that should be endorsed by the Ministers of Health of the Americas during this annual meeting.

Key Public Health Topics:

  • A strategy and plan of action on urban health
  • A strategy and plan of action on “E-health”
  • Plan of action to reduce maternal mortality
  • Plan of action on epilepsy
  • Strategy and plan of action on climate change
  • Plan of action on road safety
  • Plan of action to reduce harmful use of alcohol
  • Strategy and plan of action on malaria
  • Report on the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases

More information about the sessions, strategies, resolutions and main documents:
- PAHO Governing Bodies »

 

PAHO Director Briefing Session
to OAS Permanent Council

Briefing session on PAHO’s Directing Council Meeting to the Ambassadors to the Organization of American States (OAS) and other PAHO Members States. Dr. Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB) presents currently health, administrative, financial and technical issues under discussion for the next meeting of the Directing Council, as the Health Specialized Agency of the Inter-American System.

- PAHO Director briefing presentation to OAS Ambassador Permanent Council [PPT] »
- See on SlideShare »

View more presentations from KATIA DIAZ

- Presentación de la Directora al Consejo Permanente de la OEA [PPT] »
- Ver en SlideShare »

 

United Nations General Assembly
on Non-Communicable Diseases

Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas
Cumbre Mundial sobre Enfermedades Crónicas

New York, NY. 19-20 Sep 2011.

PAHO/WHO at the UN Summit on NCDs
OPS/OMS en la Cumbre Mundial sobre Enfermedades Crónicas


 

Recognizing the human suffering, growing burden and socio-economic impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in all countries, the UN hold a High-Level Meeting on NCDs (UNHLM) on Sept. 19-20, 2011. The United Nations High-Level Meeting represented a major policy window opening for health, which has also occurred once before with AIDS in 2001.
 

PAHO News & Releases

- Overview of Events During the UN Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases
- From the Americas: Success Stories in the Fight against Noncommunicable Diseases
-
Caribbean Action to Fight NCDs
- Studies Showing Effects of Gender on Noncommunicable Diseases Reviewed by Experts
- UN General Assembly announces historic commitment to fight noncommunicable diseases
- Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases is Approved
- Caribbean Leaders Praised for Early Action on Noncommunicable Diseases
- Launch of Wellness Week in New York and Cities throughout the Americas
- Washington Post Forum Spotlights NCDs
- Deputy Director Explains PAHO Strategy to Reduce Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases
- Interventions of the Heads of State of the Americas at the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs
- Mobile phones and social media in the response to NCDs
- PAHO Director Urges Supporters to Keep NCDs High on the Political Agenda
- Sir George Alleyne Praises NCD Alliance Work For the UNHLM
 

OPS Noticias y Comunicados de Prensa

- Repaso de lo sucedido durante la Cumbre de Naciones Unidas sobre Enfermedades No Transmisibles
- OPS/OMS anuncia pasos a seguir para abordar enfermedades no transmisibles después de cumbre de Naciones Unidas
- Acción del Caribe contra las enfermedades no transmisibles
- Presentan estudios que vinculan enfermedades no transmisibles con el género
- La Asamblea General de la ONU anuncia un compromiso histórico de luchar contra las enfermedades no transmisibles
- Aprobada la declaración política de la Reunión de Alto Nivel de Naciones Unidas sobre la Prevención y el Control de las Enfermedades no Transmisibles
- Elogían líderes del Caribe por su acción temprana en las enfermedades no transmisibles
- Lanzamiento de Semana del Bienestar en Nueva York y otras ciudades de las Américas
- El Washington Post organiza un foro de expertos para llamar la atención sobre las enfermedades no transmisibles
- Director Adjunto explica estrategia de la OPS para reducir carga de enfermedades no transmisibles en la región
- Intervenciones de Jefes de Estado de las Américas en la Reunión de Alto Nivel de la ONU sobre las ENT
- Los teléfonos móviles y las redes sociales en la respuesta a las enfermedades no transmisibles
- Directora de OPS pidió buscar escenarios políticos para promover soluciones para las Enfermedades No Transmisibles
- Sir George Alleyne elogió labor de la Alianza para las Enfermedades No Transmisibles para la Reunión de Alto Nivelc
 

Links / Enlaces:

 

PAHO Photo-Gallery
UN Summit on NCDs


( Photo © PAHO/WHO Photography )

- PAHO's Gallery


 
 
 

Non-Communicable Diseases in the Americas


PAHO/WHO. Building a Healthier Future.
The Americas has been hit early and hard by the global NCD epidemic. Today, NCDs are the leading causes of death and disability, accounting for more than 3.9 million deaths annually, or 75% of all deaths throughout the region.1 Like other regions of the world, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes are the most common NCDs.
 
 
 

Non-Communicable Diseases
Country Profiles 2011


WHO. Non-Communicable Diseases Country Profiles 2011.
This report provides information required by countries to assess their situation in face of the growing threat posed by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
“….The country profiles presented here reveal an enormous burden on mortality and alarming rates for risk factors like tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, raised blood pressure, overweight and obesity, raised cholesterol and raised blood glucose. However, there are also signs of positive improvement in some countries where health systems have been strengthened and population strategies have been effectively applied...”
 
 

Innovative Solutions from New York City


Preventing Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries.
Non-communicable diseases and injuries are global health problems that need local solutions. New York City… is addressing non-communicable diseases today by focusing on their underlying environmental causes, through actions such as requiring smoke-free workplaces, increasing access to healthy foods, building safer streets and creating infrastructure that supports physical activity. This report describes these successful efforts… [T]hese local efforts may serve as useful models for other cities as they also address these modern health problems.”
 
 

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About Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago
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