On April 27th, the European Commission organised a “Healthier Together EU Non-Communicable Diseases Initiative” Stakeholder Webinar. The EU-level Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Initiative was launched by the European Commission at the end of last year, with the ambition to support EU countries in identifying and implementing effective policies and actions to reduce the impact of major NCDs and improve citizens’ health. NCD refers to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute (short-term) infection, and result in long-term health consequences, often creating a need for long-term treatment and care.
The NCD initiative covers five main strands: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological (brain) disorders. The initiative is also supposed to look at factors that impact people’s health. In each strand, actions aim to reduce health inequalities and integrate health in all policies.
While the initiative is still in a drafting phase, welcoming health stakeholders’ inputs until May 15th, the webinar was organised to take stock of the progress on the draft EU NCD Initiative document and stimulate a discussion on mental health, neurological disorders and chronic respiratory diseases strands. This will allow new comments to be considered for the discussions with Member States and for a second version of the document to be presented on June 22nd.
The NCDs initiative is then expected to be finalised by the second half of 2022, in order to support actions for the coming years, with a view of helping Member States reach the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 targets and the WHO 2025 targets on NCDs.