Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has been appointed to serve as a commissioner on the World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). WHO Director-General Tedros Ahdhanom said the high-level commission is convened to advice on bold and practical recommendations on how to transform new opportunities to enable member states to reduce NCDs. Adhanom has also invited the Cabinet Secretary to a meeting on the high-level commission on May 7th, 2018 in Geneva. “As a commissioner you may also wish to address the plenary segment of the Third high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the prevention and control of NCDs which is organized under the auspices of President of the United Nations General Assembly and will take place on September 27, 2018, in New York USA,” Adhanom said in a letter to the CS. The Commission consists of 20 eminent persons who will be members in their personal capacity and will represent objective, balanced opinions on the topic discussed. “The remit of the commission includes identifying options for political choices, governance, science and Technology innovations Financing for NCDs, International Cooperation and modalities for integrating mental health within NCDs framework,” the WHO boss said in a statement. The commission will convene periodically and will be supported by working groups, knowledge networks and invited experts. WHO estimates that NCDs account for 60 percent deaths annually with 80 percent of the deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries, where fragile health systems often struggle to meet the population’s most basic health needs. WHO also estimates that 48 percent of NCD deaths in low- and middle-income countries occur before 70 years of age, compared with 26 percent in high-income countries.

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