FDI joins WHO’s Working Group to address growing burden of noncommunicable diseases

28 March 2018 WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has invited FDI to join its Civil Society Working Group on the United Nations (UN) third High-level meeting (HLM3) on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Enzo Bondioni at #NCDAF2017 in Sharjah

©FDI/Gilberto Lontro
FDI Executive Director, Mr Enzo Bondioni, in Sharjah for the 2nd #NCDAF2017 sharing the #WOHD18 message #SayAH #ThinkMouthThinkHealth on the wall of dreams for #NCD advocacy.

Representing the oral health community

The Working Group consists of 25 civil society organizations (CSOs) from various NCD groups and sectors beyond health. FDI is the only Working Group member representing the oral health community – a full list of the Working Group members is available here. FDI Executive Director Enzo Bondioni will serve as FDI’s representative for the Working Group.

"I am pleased to see that oral health continues to get the attention it deserves in the global spotlight. Oral diseases and other NCDs are driven by the same risk factors – namely a poor diet, particularly one rich in sugar, together with tobacco and alcohol use. A joint response to oral diseases and other NCDs is critical to address the burden of these diseases."
Enzo Bondioni, FDI Executive Director 

Co-chaired by NCD Alliance CEO Katie Dain and WHO Assistant Director-General Svetlana Axelrod, the Working Group is tasked with advising the WHO Director-General on “bold and practical recommendations on mobilizing civil society in a meaningful manner to advocate for a successful high-level meeting in New York” according to WHO.

Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for strong engagement and collaboration between governments, CSOs, the health community and other sectors to accelerate action on NCD prevention and control. The recent UN Secretary General’s report Progress on the prevention and control of NCDs calls the current response to NCDs “grossly insufficient… and patchy.”

In the lead up to the HLM3 on NCDs

If Member States are to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health by 2030, robust commitments on targets and monitoring mechanisms need to be made at the upcoming HLM3 on NCDs.

The Working Group represents an important opportunity for the oral health community ahead of the 2018 HLM3 on NCDs, which will take place in September. It serves as a platform to raise the profile of oral health and influence the global response to oral disease prevention and control in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Working Group is in the process of determining its work plan and will convene on a regular basis. The outputs of the Working Group are comprehensively detailed in the Working Group’s terms of reference.

NCDs – including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and mental and neurological disorders – cause more deaths than all other diseases combined. An estimated 39.5 million people die every year in total from NCDs, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally.

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