July 29, 2022
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, mental health disorders, and kidney disease are rapidly rising and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are the leading cause of death worldwide and represent an emerging global health threat. Deaths from NCDs now exceed all communicable disease deaths combined. However, most attention is typically focused on downstream crisis management of these chronic diseases and their complications.
The program for the World Noncommunicable Diseases (WNCD) Congress 2022 was designed to address the critical and growing impact of NCDs on the well-being of all people, with the goal of shifting attention to a culture of prevention by promoting health and well-being through addressing root causes of disease.
“We need to consciously implement policies and action, that are not only geared towards managing NCDs and their consequences, but improving population health and well-being overall, and specifically for populations most affected. It is critical that health systems, public health, policy makers, health insurers, and other sectors come together on this mission!” – Rajiv Saran, MBBS, MD, MS
The 2022 WNCD Congress, assembling key stakeholders from around the world and across sectors, was held virtually June 9-11, 2022. Over 750 people registered for the event with the number of virtual attendees ranging from 80-150 people during the live broadcast.
The theme of this year’s Congress was “Prioritizing Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases: Taking Data and Knowledge to Action” with talks focused on the below key topics:
- Learning health systems
- Role of artificial intelligence in early chronic disease detection
- Disparities and social determinants of health in NCDs
- Role of environmental pollution, climate change, and sustainable development goals pertaining to health and well-being of all people
The 2022 WNCD included opening remarks from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MS, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as keynote talks from prominent WHO leaders, Soumya Swaminathan, MBBS, MD, Chief Scientist, and Bente Mikkelsen, MD, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases.
The event was chaired by Rajiv Saran, MBBS, MD, MS and JS Thakur, MD, DNB, MNAMS, President, World NCD Federation Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India and co-chaired by Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD and Luxia Zhang, MD, MPH, Deputy Dean, National Institute of Health Data Science, Peking University.
The importance of the Congress is echoed in comments from several speakers:
"The focus of health systems really needs to be on prevention and on health promotion." - Soumya Swaminathan, MBBS, MD
"Towards the end of the last century, a global health transition has been observed... NCDs have become the biggest problem." - Pekka Puska, MD, MPolSc, PhD
"Every second, 28 lives are prematurely cut short by NCDs." - Bente Mikkelsen, MD
"I think with the movement that has us really tying in the social determinants of health... we're really elevating these in terms of the agenda for better health, for better equity." - Joseph Kolars, MD
Click here to view recordings from the 2022 WNCD.