Taskforce tells leaders to add muscle to fight against NCDs; hypertension.

The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce has published a paper just ahead of the second anniversary of the United Nations (UN) High Level Summit. The Taskforce applauds progress to-date, but calls on world leaders to add muscle to the “25 by 25” target plan to save lives from non-communicable diseases and cardiovascular disease, of which Hypertension is one of the leading causes. The“25 by 25” target aims for a 25 percent reduction in premature global mortality by 2025.

The Taskforce, which is led by the World Heart Federation, said in a press release that CVD, which accounts for nearly half of all NCD deaths, continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. The fact that nearly 80 percent of NCD deaths are in low- and middle-income countries, which most lack the human and financial resources to address them, has ensured global attention.

The targets set “are hard fought triumphs for us, not only in the CVD community, but in the health community,” states Taskforce member and Writing Group Chair, Professor Sidney C. Smith, Jr. “We need to ensure, however, that they are actualized. Strong advocacy and global action has ensured that a global architecture is now in place to make governments accountable on their progress in regards to NCDs. Moving from the political to the practical requires that NCDs are recognized as a development priority as the world reassesses the Millennium Development Goals, and that governments actively move towards national health and economic plans that address and incorporate the NCD targets and indicators.”

To achieve its commitments and align efforts to reach the“25 by 25” target, the Taskforce calls on the CVD community to join them in organizing strong national plans that will address the leading risk factors of high blood pressure and tobacco use, and improve secondary prevention and rehabilitation of CVD.

During the UN Summit two years ago in New York, heads of state made a global commitment to reduce NCD deaths, which amount to 36 million a year and is estimated to grow to 55 million by 2030.

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