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UAE calls on strengthening International efforts to combat non-communicable diseases

posted on 22/09/2011: 950 views

New York - The United Arab Emirates, which is the current head of the Cooperation Council for Gulf Arab states in the United Nations, last night called on strengthening international, regional and national efforts to combat non-communicable diseases and control their factors through the provision of financial support, initiatives and related programs in the world.

Dr. Mahmoud Mohamed Fikri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Assistant for Health Policies Affairs in the State said this before a high-level meeting convened by the General Assembly of the United Nations here in New York on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the world.

Dr. Mahmoud Fikri noted that non-communicable diseases around the world has become an economically, socially and a major health burden, pointing out that they continue to hinder economic development at the global level as they constitute major challenges to the international and national efforts in achieving the internationally agreed goals for development, including the Millennium Development Goals.

He pointed out that the G-footprint in GCC countries has always been keen to contribute effectively in the international partnership to address this scourge by supporting relevant international decisions and recommendations and providing aid to developing and poor countries to support development and health care programs.

Dr. Fikri related to statistics that indicate that 45 per cent of health burdens in the Gulf region are caused by non-communicable diseases. He expected that this percentage will increase to 60 per cent at the end of 2020.

He said that the GCC countries are working in a unified and coordinated way through the Council of Health Ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States, which organises health services in the GCC countries.

He noted that the Council, during the last four years, issued a number of resolutions, conventions and recommendations to control the spread of these diseases, as well as continued to strengthen its program on combating smoking, which was adopted by the GCC since 1979 and was awarded the tireless efforts in the fight against smoking by the World Health Organisation in 1999.

Dr. Fikri pointed out the ministerial decisions and declarations adopted by the thirty-sixth session of the Council of GCC Health Ministers, held last February on the support and development measures to combat non-communicable diseases.

This includes credence of the general framework of GCC plan to combat non-communicable diseases for the period 2011-2020 issued in Bahrain and work to strengthen the preventive aspect and health promotion, in addition to the adoption of specific performance indicators to monitor and evaluate the implementation of programs and activities of the GCC single plan to combat non-communicable diseases, comprehensive national plans to face the outbreak of diabetes.

The council has adopted the integrated operational plan to combat diabetes within the framework of the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the Global Forum of Diabetes Leaders, held in Dubai in 2010.

Dr. Fikri also pointed out that World Diabetes Congress is being held in Dubai next December in cooperation with the World Economic Forum and a number of United Nations organisations. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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