Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey was deemed worthy of an award by the United Nations for her successful implementations in the field of “Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases.”
The award was presented by WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the 73th session of UN General Assembly held in New York and received by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Non-communicable diseases is challenge for socio-economic development of the countries as they bring heavy burdens on the life qualities of people and economies. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic airway diseases and cancers are the most prevalent non-communicable diseases. NCDs both cause early deaths and severe loss of labor productivity and constrain financial structures and health sector with the high treatment costs. 87,5% of the deaths are caused by chronic diseases in Turkey.
“Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases” is a multi-stakeholder issue
This problem is not limited with the activity fields of the health ministries but has a multi-sectoral dimension. Based on this approach, UN has also been making efforts, in recent years, to deal with the NCDs on the highest political level.
As a product of the multi-sectoral solution seeking, UN Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of No-communicable Diseases was established to engage in activities in this field. The Task Force has undertaken important duties such as increasing awareness of the UN member countries about NCDs, encouraging the successful activities and creating awareness on the highest political level. The Task Force paid a working visit to Turkey on 20-22 April 2016 and conducted examinations on the applied programs. Following those examinations and successful implementations, Turkey was deemed worthy of this award.
Turkey has put into practice consistent, multi-sectoral and integrated action plans for solution of this problem, as a part of the successfully implemented health reform.
Fight with chronic hypertension
One of the relevant actions aims to reduce the overconsumption of salt, which causes hypertension and many other diseases. The daily salt consumption per person has reduced to 9,2 gram from 14,8 gram in 2012.
Healthy diet and physical activity is encouraged
It is targeted to encourage physical activity in the society and increase the number of individuals leading a healthier and more comfortable life.
Physical inactivity causes important diseases. Rate of physical inactivity will be reduced by raising awareness in this field and supporting sports and physical activities.
Fight with tobacco use
National Tobacco Control Program and Action Plans were applied to drop tobacco use dramatically. This rate will decrease further by 2023.
Both healthy society and economic benefit
According to “Report of Investment Rationale for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases” around TRY 157 billion will be saved in fifteen years in case all these political interventions are duly performed.
Turkey is applying with success a set of programs aiming to reduce risky health behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet and prevent and control non-communicable diseases such as chronic airway diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, in line with the WHO plans and the national strategies.
Award of United Nations on “Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases” will further encourage our efforts to reach greater achievements.