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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 41 million health professionals worldwide, and is the only alliance which convenes knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

WHA75 Constituency statement on agenda item 14.1: Follow-up to the political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

WHA year

Honourable Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

I represent a constituency of 7 organisations of health professionals and students, representing millions of pharmacists, nurses, physicians, physiotherapists among others.

We support the NCD implementation roadmap, which aligns tools to PHC and UHC frameworks, and we urge Member States and WHO to work closely with health professionals to ensure its successful implementation.

NCDs share social determinants and multiple environmental, educational and lifestyle risk factors that are largely preventable. They are responsible for the majority of the world’s deaths and disease burden, with tremendous implications for individuals and communities, health system expenditure, and sustainability.

We are concerned by the inadequate access to quality NCD care and its insufficient inclusion in essential health benefit packages. 122 countries reported a disruption of NCD care due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a survey to WHO. If the burden of NCDs is to be effectively addressed, it is imperative to adopt a collaborative, interprofessional, community-based and person-centred approach.

UHC based on a robust PHC system should provide effective NCD care with a focus on integrated and longitudinal care. This includes prevention, risk-factor identification and mitigation, early screening and diagnosis, and care of people living with NCDs, including disease state management, optimal adherence to treatments and rehabilitation. This can only be achieved through the integrated and complementary roles of a multi-disciplinary health care team consisting of general practitioners and specialist medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists and other health and social workers. Building an NCD-ready workforce will require the protection, resourcing, training, career development and fair remuneration of healthcare professionals.

Increased public investment in prevention strategies is critical, including public health campaigns and programmes delivered and supported by the full range of health professionals for adult vaccination, tobacco cessation, the adoption of healthier dietary behaviours and physical exercise.

Finally, we strongly agree with Member States that mental health should be discussed as a separate issue considering the global emergency in mental health.

Constituency statement signatories:

  • International Council of Nurses
  • International Pharmaceutical Federation
  • International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF)
  • World Medical Association
  • World Confederation for Physical Therapy
  • International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS)
  • International Federation of Surgical Colleges (IFSC)