In 2002 health ministers in the Americas recognized that chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) had become the number one cause of death in the Americas, as well as a daunting socio-economic burden. They called on the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to develop a strategy for enhancing regional action and coordination on the issues. This was presented and approved at PAHOapos;s Directing Council in September 2006 . Five years later, leaders from around the world will meet at the United Nations in New York on September 19 to 20 to chart a path for greater global cooperation on NCDs/chronic diseases. Lessons from the experience of the Americas in developing coordinated efforts aimed and preventing and controlling chronic diseases/NCDs will inform discussion and debate during the high level meeting. On September 12, 2011 Dr. Jon Andrus, Deputy Director of PAHO, considered the major challenges posed by chronic diseases/NCDs in the region and talked about how PAHO will participate in the UN meetings, including Wellness Week and the High-Level Meetings, themselves. Dr. Andrus also introduced the Pan American Forum for Action on Chronic Diseases, which is intended to serve as a platform for coordinating government, private sector, and civil society action in advocating for greater awareness of chronic diseases/NCDs and helping to scale up activities designed to prevent and control chronic diseases/NCDs in the Americas over the long-term.
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