WHO launches new NCDs Progress Monitor (18 September 2017)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched ‘Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2017’ today.

Key Messages:

NCDs kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 70 each year, and leave no country untouched. 

This burden is rising disproportionately among low-income and lower-middle-income countries, where almost half of premature NCD deaths occur. Within countries, these deaths disproportionally affect the poorest and those furthest behind.

The NCD epidemic is driven by poverty, globalization of marketing and trade of health-harming products, rapid urbanization, and population growth.

The new Progress Monitor is based on the latest data tracked against 10 progress indicators to chart progress in developing national responses. It describes achievements and challenges faced by all countries in fulfilling promises made since the first United
Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2011. 

Most premature NCD deaths can be prevented or delayed by implementing a set of so
called “best buys” and other interventions to prevent and control these conditions, primarily cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes. These measures were endorsed by the 70th World Health Assembly and are available to all countries.

World leaders committed in the Agenda for Sustainable Development to reduce
premature NCD deaths by one third by 2030 and promote mental health and
wellbeing (Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4).

Since the 2011 High-level Meeting, governments have made many political
commitments to prevent and control NCDs. Progress, however, has been insufficient
and highly uneven. 

The Progress Monitor provides data on 19 indicators in all of WHO’s 194 Member States. The indicators include

  • setting time-bound targets to reduce NCD deaths;
  • developing all-of-government policies to address NCDs;
  • implementing key tobacco demand reduction measures, measures to reduce harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets and promote physical activity; and
  • strengthening health systems through primary health care and universal health coverage.

Key highlights of the 2017 edition include:

  • 93 countries have set national targets to address NCDs, up from 59 in 2015;
  • 94 countries have implemented operational multisectoral strategies to address NCDs, compared to 64 in 2015;
  • 90 countries have developed guidelines for managing the four major NCDs, up from 50 in 2015;
  • 100 countries have conducted physical activity awareness campaigns;
  • Six countries have not achieved any of the progress indicators, compared to 14 in 2015. Five of the six countries are African;
  • Costa Rica and Iran lead the 10 the best performing countries, with each achieving 15 of the 19 indicators, followed by Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey and the United Kingdom (each 13); Finland, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand (12).
  • No country from the WHO Africa region achieved more than eight of the progress indicators.

Useful Links:

Link to the WHO news release:


Link to the NCDs Progress Monitor 2017 (English) [PDF] (contains country profiles):


Link to ‘Best Buys’ to tackle NCDs (WHO document) (English) [PDF]:


Link to WHO Technical Note on reporting of NCDs (English) [PDF]:




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