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United Nations Vote for Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases Applauded

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York, NY) – World Lung Foundation (WLF) applauds today's result from the United Nations' vote to convene the first-ever world summit on non-communicable diseases, at the UN General Assembly in September 2011. This event will finally begin a coordinated effort to understand and address the threat posed by non-communicable disease (NCDs) including chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. These four diseases alone are responsible for 35 million deaths a year worldwide, 80% of them in low to middle income countries.

As tobacco use is the most significant risk factor for these diseases, comprehensive action to reduce smoking in low and middle-income countries must be a priority for funding and human resource allocation.

The summit will bring together heads-of-state and public health experts from around the world to assess the dangers posed by NCDs, and develop action plans.

“The scientific community has long been aware of the massive toll NCDs take, but public health systems in low and middle-income countries have not been reoriented to address these needs,” said Dr. Neil Schluger, Chief Scientific Officer, World Lung Foundation. “This summit takes us one step closer to engaging governments and donor agencies in a coordinated effort to address the catastrophic toll these diseases are taking around the world.”