AMMAN — HH Princess Dina Mired has called on the international community and all stakeholders to quickly translate the 25 by 25 goal into a meaningful global action plan to reduce the risks of developing cancer, improving early detection rates and enhancing treatment and care capabilities around the world.
The princess, who is director general of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF), made the remarks this week at the 2012 World Cancer Congress in Montreal, Canada, where cancer control and government experts outlined the priority actions needed to achieve the UN’s goal of reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCD) by 25 per cent by the year 2025, according to a KHCF statement.
“2025 may seem a long way ahead, but we must act now and insist that all countries place cancer at the heart of their health agenda," said Princess Dina, who is heading a delegation from the KHCF and the King Hussein Cancer Centre to the congress.
"In Jordan, the King Hussein Cancer Centre has turned what was a severely under-resourced cancer-care setting into a success story. In just 10 years, our hard work and comprehensive approach achieved international standards of cancer treatment thereby increasing individuals’ chances of survival. It is imperative we replicate this elsewhere; we do not have time to waste,” she stressed.
Nearly one year ago, in September 2011, the UN held a historic high-level meeting on NCDs, only the second time in the history of the UN that the General Assembly met with the participation of heads of state and governments on an emerging health issue with a major socio-economic impact.
"The meeting came at a crucial time when NCDs are responsible for 36 million deaths annually worldwide, 80 per cent of which occur in developing countries," the statement said.
The four major NCDs — cancer, heart and cardiovascular, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases — accounted for 63 per cent of global deaths in 2010, and that number was predicted to grow significantly in the future.
As a result of this UN high-level meeting, member states adopted the overarching target of reducing mortality as a result of NCDs by 25 per cent by the year 2025.
The World Health Organisation also proposed an additional 10 targets to help reduce risk factors related to NCDs and achieve the overarching goal.
These targets are: 30 per cent reduction in prevalence of tobacco smoking, 30 per cent reduction in salt intake, 25 per cent reduction in raised blood pressure, 10 per cent reduction in insufficient physical activity, 10 per cent reduction in alcohol consumption, 15 per cent reduction in saturated fat intake, 20 per cent reduction in raised cholesterol, a halt in the rise of obesity, drug therapy to prevent heart attacks and stroke, and 80 per cent availability of basic technologies and essential medicines for the treatment of NCDs.
During the conference, Princess Dina joined other cancer leaders in lobbying for cancer to be recognised in the Millennium Development Goals, the statement said.
In 2000, world leaders agreed to 10 global targets to help free billions of people from poverty and other deprivations by 2015.
With 2015 approaching, the UN is now consulting on a revised framework for these targets and the cancer community believes that cancer and the other NCDs must be included in their replacements in order to receive the commitment and funding needed to erase the rising epidemic, according to the KHCF statement.