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Health ministers pledge to tackle non-communicable diseases with global action

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 04 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2796
  1. Richard Smith
  1. 1Moscow

Ninety health ministers and health officials from 167 countries committed themselves to taking “whole of government” and international actions to combat non-communicable disease (NCDs) at a meeting in Moscow last week.

They gathered at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control, which is part of the build up to the United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs to be held in New York in September. This will be only the second such UN meeting on health; the first, in 2001, gave rise to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

NCDs were left out of the Millennium Development Goals, but pressure for global action has been growing steadily. Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, said, “For some countries it is no exaggeration to describe the situation as an impending disaster. I mean a disaster for …

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