WONCA Europe took part in 5th meeting of the WHO Regional Director for Europe’s Advisory Council on Innovation for Noncommunicable Diseases:

Dr. Eva Hummers represented WONCA Europe in the first in person meeting of the WHO Europe Non communicable disease (NCD) Advisory Council and the first WHO-European Public Health Association (EUPHA) joint meeting, held in November 9th  2022 in Berlin (Germany) 

In response to the pressing need to reduce noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors across the WHO European Region, the WHO Regional Director for Europe has established the Advisory Council on Innovation for Noncommunicable Diseases. It is aimed at gathering the best expertise on the topic and inspiring Member States to reach the NCD-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the Berlin meeting, the NCD Advisory Council aimed to develop a joint plan with the European Public Health Conference (EPHC) network for the forthcoming year. This will help pave the way towards the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2025, elevating the European Region’s leadership role in tackling NCDs.

NCD Advisory Council aims to unite efforts with the EPHC network and enhance the progress made under the roadmap “Reducing NCDs: A Signature Roadmap for Europe” developed by the Advisory Council for the years 2021–2025. 

The Roadmap is based on the following 6 signature initiatives: 

  • Ensuring a healthier future for the European Region’s children by tackling childhood overweight and obesity;

  • Enhancing the untapped potential of health taxes in the European Region, focusing on alcohol;

  • Reducing inequalities in CVD burden and high blood pressure prevalence, through improving hypertension control in primary health care, and implementing salt reduction strategies;

  • Protecting children and young people from exposure to unhealthy commodities in digital contexts;

  • Greener and healthier cities – improving air quality and healthy mobility;

  • The big unlock – harnessing the power of data and digital health in NCD prevention. 

Two outstanding Keynote speeches about NCDs in today’s Europe were delivered by: Prof Ilona Kickbusch, Founding Director of the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland and Prof Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. They reminded us of COVID-19 lessons on NCDs and inequalities, the adverse financial outlook across Europe and cost of living crisis, the shifts in political priorities, the Ongoing conflict and the shifts in patterns of migration and marginalisation

Small working groups were set up to tackle with implementation of the goals of the roadmap. Dr Hummers was in the group for digital health/use of data. With regard to this (use of electronic health records, sharing them between providers, access to data for research and quality management, availability of telemedicine approaches, availability of health apps) the situation is very diverse across Europe. In general, there is a need to increase accessibility to the former as well as to promote research about whether the various approaches and tools really advance health, and methods for their (longitudinal) evaluation.

Afterwards a plenary took place were a summary of the main commitments emerging from the different working groups was presented and a call to action to continue engagement and progress was made

The 5th meeting of the NHC Advisory Council was held as one of the preconference events of the European Public Health Conference (EPHC), which brings together over 2500 health experts from across the European Region

More information about NCD Advisory Council  https://bit.ly/3hHNKpt 

More information about the meeting https://ephconference.eu/pre-conference-programme-513 

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