Asset Publisher

WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Inaugurated

WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Inaugurated

WHO Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Inaugurated


The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health inaugurated today (Tuesday) under the auspices of H.H. Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage & Culture at Madinat Al Erfan Theater, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC). The four-day Global Meeting is organized by the WHO with the support from the Ministry of Health and the Gulf Health Council.

The opening ceremony was attended by number of their Highnesses and Excellencies, high-level delegates, as well as representatives from the regional and international health-relevant authorities.

At the opening ceremony, a video speech of  the WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was displayed,  expressing his thanks and appreciation to the hosting country, emphasizing Oman’s close work with the Organization for global health support. Remarking on the worrying figures of NCDs sufferers, Dr.  Ghebreyesus stressed that is not only devastating from a human point of view. It also has a crippling economic impact, both in terms of the costs of treating people with long-term illnesses, and in terms of lost productivity. When applying the intervention methods, WHO estimates that every 1 U.S. dollar invested in the Best Buys, which put the emphasis on promoting health and preventing disease, will yield a return of at least 7 dollars by 2030.

Universal health coverage is the best way to ensure people receive the services they need to prevent, diagnose and treat noncommunicable diseases – and all diseases, as pointed out by the WHO Director General. 

WHO DG closed his remarks by highlighting that the battle against NCDs is not a job for the health sector only but it requires a coordinated effort on the part of all sectors of government, as well as the private sector and civil society. Adding that all have a part to play, from the big policy decisions made by governments, to the daily decisions we all make about what we eat, and how much we exercise.


Moreover, the ceremony put on show a word of H.E. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid Al Saidi, Minister of Health of the Sultanate of Oman, where he pointed out that the Sultanate has experienced a dramatic transition from the Communicable diseases to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, the circulatory system, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, which account for about 71% of deaths in the 30-70 age group. The primary health care institutions have registered about 6,700 new diabetics in 2018 compared to 5,500 diabetics in 2010, and 1,615 cancer patients compared to 1,050 patients. These diseases are resulting in about 100 deaths per 1,000 population among the 30-70 years of age group. 

The Health Minister stated that the essence of controlling these diseases lies in controlling their risk factors, which can be identified in four key risk factors: smoking, alcohol intake, unhealthy food and lack of physical activity, which requires the cooperation of different sectors, along with a primary health care –centered- health sector that is cost-effective and delivers universal health coverage to the community.

His Excellency Dr. Al Saidi stressed that Oman has recognized this and thus have worked to strengthen primary health care over the years, integrating non-communicable diseases prevention and control as a component of primary health care, and forming health committees consisting of representatives from different sectors. He added that in line with the Global Action Plan for the Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control, Oman, under the supervision of the National Multi-Sector Steering Committee, has developed and implemented the 2016-2025 National Multi-Sector Action Plan to achieve the nine voluntary global goals, including mortality reduction caused by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 25%.

The Health Minister underlined the last month cooperation with the Government of Switzerland held in Geneva to launch Health for Peace Initiative, inviting the Global Meeting country representatives to attend the side event planned for 2020 World Health Assembly to present this concept and support the initiative, taking into consideration that NCDs and Mental health conditions still constitute the main burden of deaths and morbidity resulting from the collapse of health systems during protracted emergencies

The opening ceremony included further a speech of H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean where he explained that while some of Eastern Mediterranean Region countries enjoy cutting-edge technology, others lack access to water, sanitation and electricity. People struggle with emergencies on an unprecedented scale, and all around we see poverty, conflict, unhealthy lifestyles and environmental degradation, bringing disease, disability and death.

Nonetheless, Dr. Al Mandhari stated that radical advances could be achieved to reach the development goals by 2030 by working together, mobilizing international and domestic resources, utilizing them efficiently, and focusing on providing person-centred care across the whole continuum of promotion, prevention, management, rehabilitation and recovery, we can transform public health.

The overarching goal of the Global Meeting is to accelerate the implementation of national responses to address NCDs and mental health conditions with a view to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one third and scale up interventions to reach SDG target 3.4 by 2030. The Meeting will focus on sharing success stories and challenges in countries.

the objectives of the Global Meeting are to strengthen the capacity of national NCD Directors and Managers in order to implement a set of priority interventions that will put their countries on a sustainable path to attain SDG target 3.4 on NCDs and mental health by 2030, fulfil the commitments made by Heads of State and Government in the Political Declarations of the UN General Assembly adopted in 2011, 2014 and 2018, in addition to contribute to the “triple billion” targets for WHO’s NCD-related actions set out in the 13th Global Programme of Work.

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.

Today (Tuesday) several major events were held at the Kempinski Hotel including High-Level Meeting that will contain High-Level Addresses. Furthermore, the second report from the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs was launched.

On Wednesday, the Global Meeting will comprise of the Global Multistakeholder Partners’ Forum including High-level Segment for Member States and United Nations Organizations, as well as non-State actors, at level of Ministers and heads of organizations. The objectives of the Global Multistakeholder Partners’ Forum are to strengthen the capacity of national NCD Directors and Programme Managers to engage with non-State actors, taking into account national health priorities and objectives for a meaningful and effective contribution to the implementation of national responses to NCDs and mental health in order to reduce premature mortality from NCDs and promote mental health, while giving due regard to managing conflicts of interest. Moreover, the Forum aim to strengthen non-State actors’ commitment and contribution to the implementation of national responses to prevent and control NCDs and promote mental health to reach SDG 3.4.

On Thursday, Regional Meetings, side events and site visits will be conducted.

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). However, 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