The World Health Organisation’s Executive Board is meeting for the 150th time from 24th-29th January, and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases will be prominent on the agenda as several initiatives will be discussed. The WHO Executive Board consists of 34 technically qualified members, who agree on the agenda for the next World Health Assembly, which resolutions should be considered and the best ways to implement decisions and policies.
The draft implementation roadmap 2023-2030 for the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2030 will be one of the topics to be debated. Reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030 is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals, yet only 17 countries are currently on track. The updated roadmap therefore makes suggestions to accelerate progress and scale up the implementation of interventions. The plan recognises the importance of regular physical activity and its potential in terms of NCD prevention.
Regarding more specific health objectives, regular exercise is also crucial for the prevention of diabetes, obesity, and to improve mental health. Throughout its political declaration, the WHO emphasizes that behavioural risk-factor modification can enable individuals to make healthier choices to improve their health. Exercise and regular physical activity are indeed associated with social, mental, heart and brain health benefits and a better quality of life, which is closely linked to the prevention of many NCDs and the improvement of the quality of life of chronically ill individuals. Physical activity should therefore play a part in NCD prevention strategies implemented at national level.
You can find more information about the 150th session of the WHO’s Executive Board here