The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) was held on May 22-28 in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme of this year’s WHA was ‘Health for peace, peace for health’. The event brought together delegations from all WHO Member States, health experts and civil society representatives. One of WHA’s key discussion points was on the follow-up to the Political Declaration of the Third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Specific sub-items included the draft implementation road map 2023–2030 for the global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013–2030 and the draft recommendations to strengthen and monitor diabetes responses within national noncommunicable disease programmes, including potential targets.
For the first time ever, the WHO Member States have supported the setup of global targets for diabetes. By 2030, countries committed to meeting the following five targets:
- 80% of people living with diabetes are diagnosed
- 80% have good control of glycaemia
- 80% of people with diagnosed diabetes have good control of blood pressure
- 60% of people with diabetes of 40 years or older receive statins
- 100% of people with type 1 diabetes have access to affordable insulin and blood glucose self-monitoring.
The aims are to reduce the risk of diabetes and diabetes-related complications, integrate care around the patient, support patient empowerment as well as enable access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality medicines and technologies, including insulin and glucose monitoring devices.
WHO pledged to continue working closely with countries, manufacturers and other stakeholders to close the gaps in diabetes treatment and expand access to lifesaving insulin for everyone who needs it. The ultimate objective is to realise the 100-year promise of making insulin access universal. Optimal management of diabetes also has relevance for other conditions and diabetes could serve as a tracer condition for general comprehensiveness and strength of national responses to NCDs.
WHO Member States also expressed resounding support for the draft implementation roadmap 2023–2030 for the global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013–2030. The purpose of the implementation roadmap is to encourage Member States to take, in 2023, measures to accelerate and reorient parts of their domestic action plans to achieve the eight voluntary extended global targets and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4.1 by 2030. The global NCD implementation roadmap will serve as an overarching guide and a technical package for countries, international organisations and civil society to implement interventions for NCD prevention, management, and control.
During the session, Member States acknowledged the increasing burden that NCDs represent for people of all ages, in particular the most vulnerable. Governments called for urgent action, stakeholder mobilisation and increased financial support to countries’ NCD budgets, based on an integrated health approach and incorporating the socio-economic determinants of health and mental health. At IDF Europe, we believe that implementing measures fostering health-enabling environments and addressing the social and economic determinants of health requires working across sectors and beyond silos, building healthier communities through better housing, planning, employment, education and other social policies.
Member States also stressed that strong primary care is key to a sustainable and resilient healthcare system. There must, therefore, be more investments in primary care infrastructure, adequate staffing levels must be guaranteed, and skills and education must be provided for primary healthcare professionals. Indeed, a multidisciplinary, well-resourced primary healthcare team is an essential pillar of diabetes care and can help identify individuals at high risk of developing diabetes and other NCDs and provide timely, effective interventions.
Member States also underlined that effective action to address NCDs needs to be supported by whole-of- government, whole-of-society approach, tackle socio-economic inequalities and take into account environmental and climate change drivers.