- Michael R. Bloomberg reappointed as WHO Global Ambassador for Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries
- A new Gallup survey indicates strong global support for the policies outlined in the WHO report to tackle the growing public health burden of non-communicable diseases
Today, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, launched a new report calling on world leaders to take urgent action against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are responsible for 17 million premature deaths each year.
To accelerate action, Dr. Tedros renewed the two-year appointment of Michael R. Bloomberg as WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. This is Bloomberg’s third reappointment as ambassador, having first been appointed to the position in 2016.
The announcement was made during the first annual meeting of a Group of Heads of State and Government for the Prevention of NCDs, led by the President of Ghana and the Prime Minister of Norway. , held during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This follows the launch of a Global Compact on NCDs earlier this year by Ghana and Norway.
To mark the occasion, the WHO has released a new report, “Invisible numbers: the true scale of non-communicable diseases“, and one data portal which, for the first time, brings together all WHO NCD data for 194 countries. The report and portal highlight the extent of the global burden of NCDs, the risk factors and the progress each country is making in its efforts to tackle these diseases and conditions. Every two seconds, someone under the age of 70 somewhere in the world dies from an NCD. Non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease now outnumber infectious diseases among the leading causes of death worldwide.
“This report is a reminder of the true scale of the threat posed by NCDs and their risk factors,” said Dr Tedros. “There are cost-effective, globally applicable NCD interventions that every country, regardless of income level, can and should use and benefit from – saving lives and saving money. I thank President Afuko-Addo, Prime Minister Støre and Michael Bloomberg for their leadership and vision in addressing this major global health issue.
Bloomberg’s renewal comes at a critical time for public health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people living with NCDs faced worse outcomes than those without. Today, Gallup released a new survey commissioned by the WHO and Bloomberg Philanthropies, which found that most respondents in five countries studied – including Colombia, India, Jordan, the United Republic of Tanzania and the United States of America – rank an NCD or NCD risk factor as the biggest health problem in their country.
Public awareness of the links between NCDs and their risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity is low. Yet the majority of respondents in all countries support a large number of proven interventions and policies that can reduce NCD deaths, such as incorporating more green spaces into urban health design and the increase in tobacco taxes.
“As we continue to respond to this pandemic and prepare for the next, we have seen the critical importance of addressing a major risk factor in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths – unhealthy illnesses. diseases,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. “Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease and cancer are the world’s biggest silent killers, but they can often be prevented by investing in proven, cost-effective interventions. I look forward to continuing to make vital investments in the prevention of non-communicable diseases and injuries alongside Dr. Tedros and WHO.
As a global ambassador for WHO, Bloomberg will continue to support global, national and local efforts to protect people from non-communicable diseases and injuries. This work also advances the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3.4) to reduce the global number of NCD deaths by one-third through high-impact population-level policies and programs implemented. implemented in cities around the world.
NCDs cause almost three quarters of deaths worldwide. Each year, 17 million people under the age of 70 die from non-communicable diseases, 86% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the burden of NCDs by delaying and disrupting care, and in the first months of the pandemic, 75% of countries reported disruption of essential NCD services due to health restrictions. containment and routing of resources. While every UN member state has pledged to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by a third by 2030 – an effort that could save millions of lives – few countries are currently on track to do so. to arrive at. Urgent global efforts are needed to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and reduce premature deaths from NCDs.
 The Group of Heads of State and Government launched a Global Compact on NCDs in April 2022 in Accra, Ghana, at the International Policy Dialogue on NCDs.
About the World Health Organization
The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, in six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. By connecting countries, people and partners, we strive to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance to live safe and healthy lives.
About Michael Bloomberg’s work in public health
A global leader on public health issues, Bloomberg’s investments in public health include major and vital initiatives to reduce youth tobacco and e-cigarette use through more than 1 billion dollars of investments, support a healthy food policy, reduce drownings and improve road safety and maternal health, among others. In 2016, he launched the American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University to combat declining life expectancy in the United States, and in 2017 launched the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of 70 cities committed to reducing non-communicable diseases and injuries. Recently, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested an additional $115 million in the global public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives – bringing its total investment to $215 million – to continue preventing deaths from heart disease.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for as many people as possible. The organization focuses on five key areas to create lasting change: arts, education, environment, government innovation and public health.
Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate and personal philanthropy, and Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consulting firm that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, visit bloomberg.org