Policy ForumGlobal Health

Global Indicators and Targets for Noncommunicable Diseases

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Science  21 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6101, pp. 1456-1457
DOI: 10.1126/science.1228293

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In September 2011, the United Nations (UN) convened a High Level Meeting (HLM) of member states to address a largely neglected, global reality: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases—kill more people than other causes, health and non–health related, and the world is ill-prepared to respond. This was only the second such UN meeting of heads of state focused on a health issue, the first having been on HIV/AIDS in 2001. Without more effective and focused action, the growing burden of NCDs threatens to undermine increasingly interdependent development and economic agendas (13). The 2011 meeting ushered in the potential for an orchestrated response, facilitated by a mandate that the World Health Organization (WHO), in consultation with member states, develop a global monitoring framework with key indicators and targets to be achieved by 2025.