According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases are underestimated worldwide. Every two seconds, a person under the age of 70 dies from such a disease in the world, the WHO reported on Wednesday. It is known what to do about it, said Bente Mikkelsen, head of the non-communicable diseases (NCD) department at the WHO in Geneva.
“We just have to implement the interventions everywhere.” These included a reduction in tobacco use, a healthier diet, less alcohol, more exercise and better air. But 85 percent of the sick lived in low- and middle-income countries, the WHO writes in its report. When they become ill, they often have little prospect of appropriate treatment. Additional healthcare spending of $140 billion (around €140 billion) by 2030 could bring these countries a net economic benefit of $2.7 trillion – in part because treated sick people can go back to work.
The healthiest countries
Non-communicable diseases are responsible for 74 percent of all deaths worldwide. If the well-known and effective interventions were implemented, 39 million lives could be saved worldwide by 2030 and countless people could live longer and happier lives, the report says.
The WHO starts at the same time interactive data portal, in which the situation in every country in the world can be viewed. It shows that Sweden, Norway, Italy and Australia, among others, are the least affected by non-communicable diseases. However, the data situation is not equally good in all countries.