WHO Chief urges for ban on tabacco

World Health Organisation(WHO) Director General Dr Margaret Chan stressed up on need of urgent wake-up call for heads-of-states for prevention of non-communicable diseases(NCDs) and held that ban on tabacco would be effective in the prevention Addressing the inaugural of the South East Asian Region Health Ministers Meeting here today, the WHO Chief said, "Worldwide, diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers are already the world’s biggest killers". These diseases, especially diabetes and stroke, were already responsible for half of all disabilities worldwide she said, adding future trends were also ominous, especially for developing countries undergoing rapid modernisation, as seen in many parts of this region.
Most non-communicable diseases develop slowly. But the forces that drive the rise of these diseases were spreading with a stunning speed, sweep and were are nearly universal, powerful, and difficult to reverse, Dr Chan said. "In my view, the meeting needs to be a wake-up call right up to the level of heads of state. They need to be confronted with the facts right now, and how things will look very soon if the right actions are not taken immediately", she exhorted. "They need to understand the costs. These are the diseases that break the bank. In some countries, for example, care for diabetes alone consumes as much as 15 per cent of the national health care budget," she pointed out. Estimates from the USA indicated that diagnosed diabetes costs the country 174 billion dollar a year, of which 116 billion dollar spent for direct medical costs.