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Addressing non-communicable diseases reduces COVID-19 deaths

Berlin, Germany – Only fifteen countries are currently on track to fulfil the global commitment to reduce premature deaths by one-third for both men and women by 2030, according to data from the World Health Organization. Fifteen million lives could be saved through screening, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases. A high-level session at the World Health Summit, focused on tackling non-communicable diseases, seeks to mobilise global action to enable 90 low- and middle-income countries to achieve this same goal.

Health ministers from Myanmar and Rwanda will present national strategies and costed action plans to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases. They will be joined by global experts from governments, multilateral institutions, development banks, humanitarian organisations, academia, philanthropic foundations and private companies.

Dr. Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health, Rwanda, and Dr. Myint Htwe, Union Minister of Health and Sports, Myanmar, will present plans that demonstrate their respective national commitments to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3.4: to reduce global premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030. The two ministers will also detail how they aim to raise the required financing. Other panellists at the ‘Access to sustainable non-communicable disease treatment and care’ session are:

  • Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission
  • Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, Gambia
  • Bente Mikkelsen, Director, Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization
  • Hubertus Von Baumbach, Chair, Board of Managing Directors, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Mukul Bhola, Chief Executive Officer, The Defeat-NCD Partnership, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research

Taking part in a question-and-answer session at the event are the following speakers:

  • Timothy Sylvester Harris, Prime Minister, Saint Kitts and Nevis; Lead Head for Health and Human Development in the Caribbean; Chair High Level Council, The Defeat-NCD Partnership
  • Dechen Wangmo, Minister of Health, Bhutan
  • Juan Carlos Zevallos, Minister of Health, Ecuador
  • Bernhard Braune, Head of Unit, Division 100 ‘Global health policy and financing’, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Federal Republic of Germany
  • Tine Mørch Smith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, Permanent Mission of Norway
  • Virginija Dambrauskaite, Policy Officer at the Health Sector, European Commission, International Cooperation and Development, B4.Education, Health, Culture
  • Francesco Rocca, President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Svetlana Axelrod, Director, Global NCD Platform, World Health Organization
  • Olga Sclovscaia, Regional Head in Europe and Central Asia, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank Group
  • Srividya Jagannathan, Global Lead – Lifesciences, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group
  • Sonalini Khetrapal, Health Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
  • Anmar Abdo Ahmed, Lead Global Health Specialist, Islamic Development Bank Group
  • Christoph Loch, Director, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon
  • Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India
  • Menassie Taddese, Regional President, Emerging Markets, Pfizer
  • Amalia Adler-Waxman, Vice President, Global Head, Environment, Social and Governance, Teva
  • Gina Agiostratidou, Programme Director, Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Programme


‘Access to sustainable non-communicable disease treatment and care’ session details: 26 October 2020, 9-10.30am Central European Time

Due to COVID-19, the World Health Summit 2020 is an online event. Register to join the session here:

About The Defeat-NCD Partnership

The Defeat-NCD Partnership is a practical response to the widespread call for action on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Formally launched alongside the UN General Assembly in 2018, we are a ‘public-private-people’ partnership anchored in the United Nations but extending well beyond to include governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, academia, philanthropies, and the private sector.

Our vision is clear — universal health coverage for NCDs. To achieve this, our core mission focuses on assisting approximately 90 low-resource countries via comprehensive action across four interconnected service pillars: national NCD capacity building, community scale-up of NCD services, affordability and accessibility of essential NCD supplies, and sustainable NCD financing.