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Press Briefing on WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health

Press Briefing on WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health

Press Briefing on WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health


The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed today (Sunday) that the Sultanate will host the WHO Global Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases to be held during December, 09 – 12, 2019.

This came in a press briefing at the MOH headquarters with the presence of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Talib Al-Hinai, MOH Undersecretary for Planning Affairs along with H.E. Dr. Akjimal Magtimova, WHO Representative to the Sultanate.

MOH Undersecretary for Planning Affairs stressed that the NCDs – primarily cardiovascular and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes – kill more people than any other cause, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally, including 15 million people prematurely aged between 30 - 70 (nearly half of which occur in low- and lower-income countries). But many premature NCD deaths can be avoided when action is taken to reduce exposure to the main risks causing them (tobacco, unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity) and promote effective treatment, including through universal health coverage. 

Al-Hinai added that the Meeting will bring together more than 150 countries, with selected UN partners and civil society, the private sector, philanthropies, academia and donors, for an immersive capacity building conference focusing on how governments can implement WHO-endorsed low cost “best buy” solutions that reduce premature NCD deaths on a dramatic scale so tens of millions of lives can be saved. Further, through these measures, we could save 8 million lives in low- and lower-middle-income countries by 2030 and generate US $350B in economic growth. Examples of these solutions range from marketing bans and taxation to reduce exposure to tobacco and unhealthy foods and drinks, to providing access to essential health services to all people to protect them from these conditions. 

He also pointed out that this Meeting is the first Global Meeting on NCDs since the 2018 UN High-Level Declaration on Noncommunicable diseases and the 2019 UN High-Level Declaration on Universal Health Care. This timely meeting will provide a progressive platform to empower diverse global health stakeholders and facilitate multi-stakeholder action and scale up national action on NCD, whilst linking to the Agenda for Sustainable Development target to reduce premature death from these conditions by one third by 2030, and promote mental health.

"A number of representatives from health and non-health sectors, international organizations and other global stakeholders will participate in this Global Meeting" Dr. Akjimal Magtimova said. She added that this event is expected to release a call for action, which will contribute to the implementation of the 2018 UN High-Level Political Declaration on NCDs and 2019 UN Political Deceleration on UHC, whilst supporting countries to reach the 2030 development goals. The Conference will comprise a series of exciting and interactive plenary and panel discussions, while numerous new initiatives to prevent and control NCDs will be launched.

Dr. Magtimova highlighted the most prominent events during the event, which are

  • Walk The Talk Event: WHO with the Oman Ministry of Sport and Ministry of Health will be hosting a Walk The Talk event in the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Monday 9 December. This will be the first Walk The Talk event in the Middle East and will feature Dr. Tedros, WHO Director-General along with H.E. Minister of Health of Oman and H.E. Minister of Sport of Oman.

  • Press Briefing: On Tuesday December 10, a press briefing will be held at the Kempinski Hotel with the presence of high-level delegates, shortly before the high-level meeting.

  • High-Level Meeting: on Tuesday, December 10, at the Kempinski Hotel including High-Level Addresses such as H.E. Minister of Health along with Dr. Tedros, WHO Director-General and Ministers of Health from other countries.

  • Launching the second report from the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs at the Kempinski Hotel.

  • Official Opening: under the patronage of H.H. Sayyidh Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture: Tuesday December 10, at Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

  • Face-to-face meeting: with 20 distinguished young health leaders from the six WHO Regions: Wednesday December 11 at Kempinski Hotel.