Brazzaville, Congo — In an effort to address the growing global burden of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the American Cancer Society is joining technical experts and Ministers of Health in Africa for a meeting in Brazzaville, Congo this week. The gathering marks the first African regional consultation on NCDs under the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss Africa's response to the growing burden of NCDs including cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart diseases. According to the WHO, NCDs claim more than 35 million lives each year and account for roughly 60 percent of all deaths worldwide, with a disproportionate number of fatalities occurring in developing countries.
The Brazzaville consultation will yield a regional NCD declaration to contribute to proceedings of the First Global Ministerial Meeting on Healthy Lifestyle and NCDs control scheduled for 28-29 April in Moscow, and the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs in New York City from 19-20 September 2011. At the New York summit, the UN will address cancer and other chronic diseases for the first time as part of a larger policy that recognizes the global NCD burden and outlines a clear plan of action for governments, the UN system, civil society, and development stakeholders.