Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), shares great news from Geneva where – just last week – the world’s health ministers committed to reducing global deaths from cancer and other noncommunicable diseases, or NCDs. This is progress. Along with its partners at UICC and The NCD Alliance, LIVESTRONG has been calling for countries party to the United Nations to take action on NCDs and live up to the declaration from last year’s UN summit. At the 65th World Health Assembly, they did just that, by setting a goal to decrease premature mortality from NCDs around the world by 25% by the year 2025. Countries also set a clear timeline for developing other benchmark measures (a.k.a. targets), noting support for goals related to healthcare access and the availability of essential medicines.
LIVESTRONG has been working consistently with advocates, service providers, and policymakers to promote the importance of access to cancer care worldwide, and the progress made last week brings us closer to making that a reality. Improving global access to essential medicines that can treat cancer will be key for meeting the new global target. Therefore, we will continue our efforts in educating decision-makers in Washington and implementing programs abroad that demonstrate how this can be achieved.
Just as in the lead-up to the UN summit, where Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, shared her moving story and challenge for the world’s leaders, cancer was also featured prominently at World Health Assembly, with Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma speaking at the invitation of Director-General Chan. Both of these champions present a model of how addressing cancer worldwide can help curb the overall global noncommunicable-disease burden for those most affected.