Thursday, September 27, 2018

WSO President calls for quick and decisive action on NCDs at UN High Level Meeting

Today the the UN world leaders are gathered to agree and commit to a programme of action to accelerate progress on NCDs. While the proposed outcome document for the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs doesn't go far enough, it is perhaps our best opportunity to date to address the diseases which - world-over - are most likely to kill us and cause immeasurable suffering. WSO President Werner Hacke will attend the meeting and has prepared this oral statement calling for fast and decisive action and offer support to Member States in their work to tackle the risk factors for stroke and other NCDs.

President's Statement for UN High Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, 27th September 2018

My name is Werner Hacke, a Neurologist from Germany and I speak here as the President of the World Stroke Organization.

Every year, almost 15 million human beings die of stroke and many more survive with a lifelong burden of physical, cognitive, mental, and socio-economic impairment. This cruel tragedy leaves families desperate and could be avoided. Stroke is both preventable and treatable.

Stroke shares the same risk factors as cardiac diseases and other NCDs such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lack of execise, alcohol abuse and unhealthy foods.

These facts have been well known for decades and the solutions are obvious and cost effective, but actions are slow and reluctant.

Any further delay caused by lack of political will and weak compromises, will result in a massive increase of patients suffering and dying from stroke and other NCDs, especially in poor societies. We have had enough futile discussions about facts that no one can seriously deny.

For many scientists and NGOs, the proposed outcome document may look repetitive, timid and not like a big break through- but at least it's a signal.

Its time to act now and take quick and clear decisions. Otherwise unnessary premature deaths and suffering will grow dramatically, and the responsibility for this unfortunate development will rest with us.

Therefore the WSO will support all member states in their efforts to improve prevention, get rid of dangerous lifestyles, provide access to medical services, broaden health coverage and access to essential drugs, not only for stroke.

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