February 3, 2021 (New York, USA) — Vital Strategies today welcomes the reappointment of Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, as Word Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). Bloomberg was first appointed ambassador in 2016.
José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies said: “We applaud Michael Bloomberg’s reappointment by the World Health Organization as the Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). It comes at a time when his vision and leadership are sorely needed, as the COVID-19 pandemic tests the limits of public health systems to the breaking point. NCDs are already the leading cause of mortality globally, and NCD-related COVID comorbidities have further highlighted the need to contend with the NCD epidemic, especially diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Both as a mayor, as a public health leader and a philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg’s achievements have shown that with focus and determination, rapid progress in public health is possible. His role as WHO NCD Ambassador will amplify his ability to convene world leaders and highlight the strategies best proven to make progress against NCDs. Despite the bleak challenges we face, leadership like this can help us believe that the strongest days of public health are indeed ahead of us. Vital Strategies looks forward to continuing our work with Michael Bloomberg and the WHO to help improve global health and reduce preventable death and disease.”
NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and respiratory diseases account for 70% of deaths worldwide. They affect the quality of life, productivity, income and lifespan of families, communities and economies. People living with NCDs are also at a higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19, are more likely to be hospitalized and are at a higher risk of death. At the same time, COVID-19 has interrupted preventative health services and reduced the capacity of countries to meet the needs of existing NCDs.
Vital Strategies is a principal partner in several Bloomberg Philanthropies funded initiatives including the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, Data for Health initiative, Partnership for Healthy Cities and most recently in efforts to respond to COVID-19.
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.