Lifestyle diseases in focus at global to be hosted in Oman
December 7, 2019 | 10:48 PM
by Times News Service
Photo: File

Muscat: Over 400 representatives from 194 countries will come to Oman to take part in a conference organised by the World Health Organisation that looks to tackle lifestyle diseases and provide better care to those suffering from mental health issues.

The event, which is called the WHO Global Meeting to Accelerate Progress on SDG target 3.4 on NCD’s and Mental Health, will be opened by Ahmed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, on Tuesday.

In the presence of healthcare representatives from across the world, he will shed light on the priorities given by Oman to reducing the harmful effects unhealthy diets can have on people. Today, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases, so call non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are among the leading causes of death around the world and in Oman.

The more than 400 delegates will discuss the best policies for putting their health systems on a sustainable path to attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3.4) target to reduce by a third premature mortality from NCDs by 2030. Key to this is governments working with non-state actors such as healthcare professionals, private industry and NGOs to boost these national efforts and make them more effective and efficient.

He will showcase the country’s multi-sectoral ten-year plan (2016 to 2025) to combat the rising NCD levels. In this year’s First Voluntary National Review, the Sultanate can point to significant improvement in the overall health of Omanis, due in part to measures to address unhealthy diets. Colombia, Norway, Russia, USA are among the countries who will be sharing their challenges and national successes in implementing NCD priority actions.

Dr Ahmed Al Saidi, also spoke of the need to develop strategies to sustain health spending and provide health care to all citizens free of charge via a social health insurance scheme under the Sultanate’s Health Vision 2050. “Public-private partnerships are essential for the sustainability of Oman’s health system, and the vision is to have a 50-50 partnership by the year 2050, with the private sector owning and running 50% of health services,” he said.

The global meeting is taking place at a key juncture. With just 10 years remaining to meet the goal of reducing burden of NCDs. Progress has been made in overcoming NCDs but is too slow: the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 40 to 50 countries are on track to reach the 2030 target while another 50 need to step up their efforts slightly and the rest substantially.

“While the pharmaceutical industry has been instrumental to this progress, none of it would have been accomplished without partnership,” added Thomas Cueni, the director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). “From patient advocates to our biotech and academic partners to local governments who help ensure access on the ground, innovation is only as good as the partnership that supports it,” he said.

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