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Statement by Commissioner Hu Hongtao of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China at the General Debate of the GA High-Level Meeting on the Comprehensive Review and Assessment of the Progress Achieved in the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases

2014-07-10 22:21

Mr. President,

At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, I wish to congratulate the convocation of this meeting and sincerely thank you and the Secretariat for the excellent preparatory work.

In response to the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) adopted at the 66th GA in 2011, the Chinese Government has incorporated the prevention and control of NCDs into our Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development. In 2012, fifteen Ministries and Commissions jointly issued the National Program for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention (2012-2015). The program laid down prevention and control objectives and stipulated the division of labor among departments, thus propelling multisectoral cooperation into a new stage. China is now implementing tasks listed in the program and is on track to achieve the set objectives by 2015.

China has always followed a strategy of “stressing prevention while combining prevention and control” to advance work in all aspects in the comprehensive prevention and control of NCDs. First, we have stepped up measures to address risks for chronic diseases so as to tackle the problem the root causes. Relevant departments have launched a series of joint initiatives in environmental management, tobacco control, physical education and exercise, nutrition improvement and health education. Second, we have widely raised awareness on the prevention of chronic diseases to incorporate it into daily life. We have put in great efforts to promote healthy life style for all and health literacy for all campaigns to mobilize the entire society to participate in mass prevention and control efforts. Third, we have shifted focus to early diagnosis and early treatment. For high risk groups, early diagnosis and treatment of major cancer types, stroke screen and comprehensive paedodontic intervention have been carried out. Years of practice have shown that early diagnosis and treatment of certain cancer types such as esophageal and colorectal cancer have produced significant results in maintaining people’s health in cancer-prone areas. Fourth, we have instituted standardized management at the community level. Health services for hypertension and diabetic patients and elderly people have been included in national basic public health services and are provided free of charge by basic medical facilities to urban and rural residents. Fifth, we have been increasing fiscal spending on an annual basis to build a chronic diseases monitoring system consisting of evaluation indicators such as incidence, prevalence, death and risk factors, so as to provide a foundation for scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of prevention and control efforts and for government decision-making. Sixth, we have included NCDs prevention and control as an important part of the efforts to build healthy cities and of regional health initiatives. At the national level, we have built demonstration areas for comprehensive prevention and control. There are now 140 national demonstration areas in 30 provinces, which serve as models for the rest of the country.

China actively carries out international exchanges and cooperation on NCDs prevention and control. My government has conscientiously implemented the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and implemented cooperative projects of “smoke-free workplace” and “reduction of salt intake” together with the WHO, the governments of the US and Luxembourg, NGOs and the private sectors. We are also engaged in cooperation in NCDs prevention and control through BRICS and ASEAN plus China, Japan and ROK (10+3) mechanisms. We have provided medical assistance within our capacity to other developing countries through initiatives such as our long-time practice of dispatching medical assistance teams.

China is confronted with dual challenges of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. People have a weak sense of self-care and are ill-informed on NCDs. We also need to further increase financial and public policy support. We have yet to build an enabling environment where the entire society participates in NCDs prevention and control. China will continue focusing on government leadership, multisectoral cooperation and societal participation. We will underscore prioritization, differentiated guidance and result-orientation. We will follow the three principles of “stressing prevention, combining prevention and control and giving preference to grass-root level efforts”. We will continue to work studiously to prevent and control NCDs and curb their growth momentum.

Ladies and gentlemen,

NCDs pose a serious threat to human health and a grave challenge to global economic and social development. They are one of the key impediments to the achievement of MDGs. In this connection, I would like to make the following proposals:

First, the primary responsibility of governments in tackling the challenges of NCDs should be further emphasized. Health should be incorporated into all social policies. Non-health-related departments, in particular, should embed the concept of health in their policies. Multisectoral cooperation and coordination mechanisms should be set up. All sectors of the society should be mobilized to participate in the prevention and control of NCDs.

Second, the international community should coordinate actions, integrate the prevention and control of NCDs into the post-2015 development agenda and urge transnational corporations to support and participate in the prevention and control of NCDs.

Third, the leading role of the WHO in global prevention and control of NCDs should be given full play. Developed countries are encouraged to increase financial and technical support for developing countries so that the global capacity to prevent and control of NCDs can be steadily improved.

China stands ready to participate in global prevention and control of NCDs more actively and comprehensively, and work closely with other member states in our joint efforts to address the challenges posed by NCDs.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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