Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as including four disease areas: cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease. IAPO believes it is essential that patient-centred solutions are found to prevent and manage NCDs on a global level.

Chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of mortality across the globe and represent over 60% of all deaths. Out of the 36 million people who died from chronic disease in 2008, nine million were aged under 60, and 80% of these premature deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries.

Chronic diseases represent over 60% of all deaths.

IAPO’s members are predominantly made up of patient groups who support patients with chronic diseases. Since 2011, IAPO has advocated for the extension of strategies to prevent and manage NCDs to all chronic diseases.

NCDs on a global level

In July 2014, IAPO Governing Board member Eva Maria Ruiz de Castilla represented IAPO at a high-level meeting convened by the UN General Assembly. The meeting was held to assess the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. It also considered national and multi-sectoral stakeholder action in implementing the United Nations 2012 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, and considered NCDs in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

Ahead of the UN meetings, we were also involved in interactive meetings with non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia about the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. At these meetings, Eva Maria shared with delegates the effects these global decisions may have on those who matter the most - the patient.